Since its re-emergence as nation-state in 1923, Turkey has often looked like an odd appendix to the West situated in the borderlands of Europe and the Middle East, economically backward, inward looking, marred by political violence, yet a staunch NATO ally, it has been eyed with suspicion by both 'East' and 'West'.
The momentous changes in the regional and world order after 1989 have catapulted the country back to the world stage.
Ever since, Turkey has turned into a major power broker and has developed into one the largest economies in the world.
In the process, however, the country has failed to solve its ethnic, religious and historical conflicts peacefully. At this historical turning point, Kerem Oktem charts the contemporary history of Turkey, exploring such key issues as the relationship between religion and the state, Kurdish separatism, Turkey's relationship with Israel and the ongoing controversy over Turkey's entry into the EU.
Readable but comprehensive, this is the definitive book on the country's erratic transformation from a military dictatorship to a maturing, if still troubled, democracy.