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The modern Republic of Turkey, which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, is unusual among the nations of the Middle East. It is a democracy in a region where most rulers are autocrats. It is a Muslim country that enforces strict separation between religion and public life. Turkey is also among the most western-aligned states in the Middle East. It is the only Muslim state to be part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is an important ally of the United States, and is seeking full membership in the European Union. Yet the state is not without problems. These include a long-running conflicts with a Kurdish organization, the PKK, that wishes to gain independence. In recent years Turkey has also been forced to close its borders due to conflict in neighboring Iraq and Syria. This book examines the many issues facing Turkey today.