GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
February 18, 1952: Already a founding member of the UN, Turkey becomes a member of NATO.

Turkey celebrates its acceptance into NATO. With it, the country gains protection from any Soviet aggression. It is also more likely to receive foreign aid to assist with modernization. Many Turks interpret the event as symbolic of Western nations finally accepting Turkey as one of their own.

PBS The Transformation of Turkey: From Islamic Empire to Modern State

Think Tank asks, "Can an Islamic nation be modern, democratic, secular, pro-Western -- and still be Islamic?"