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Produced as a result of a conference entitled “Turkey: At the Crossroads of Secular West and Traditional East”, held at the American University Washington College of Law in January 2008, this article provides a summary of conference speaker Feroz Ahmad’s discussion of Kemal Ataturk’s continuing influence and his “lai” form of government, as well as an overview of articles written by three of the conference speakers. The three articles highlight Turkey’s unique status as a country caught between the secular west and the traditional east with the potential to serve as a bridge and/or battleground between the two. The articles demonstrate the difficulties Turkey will face should it continue to aspire to European Union membership and discuss issues related to cultural assimilation, trade issues, and the voluntary use of headscarves by Turkish women.



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