For more than six centuries, the Ottoman Empire controlled Arab lands, leaving its imprint on art, language and food. Today, Turkey is wielding influence once again in the Arab world -- not militarily, but through its soap operas.
Is Turkey moving East or leaning West? The country lies between traditionally Christian Europe and predominantly Muslim Middle East. Recently, it has been in the headlines due to its growing Islamic movement, its limbo status at the gates of the European Union and its increasingly strained relations with historical ally Israel.
Worldfocus explores the evolution of modern Turkish identity, which has experienced a tug of war between traditional religion and modern democracy. The values of moderate Islamists are challenging the country's secular nationalists. Critics have labeled the democratically-elected ruling party fundamentalist.
We examine how the country has struggled to carve out a place for historical minorities, including Kurds, Armenians and Greeks. We also follow female athletes who are pioneering places in the traditionally male-dominated sports of soccer and weightlifting.
"Turkey Between East and West" is a collection of signature videos, Q&As, an online radio show, reporter observations and blogger perspectives.
Turkey between East and West
Visiting Turkey on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama encouraged dialogue with Armenia, acknowledging the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks but stopping short of calling them "genocide." A Worldfocus contributing blogger explores Obama's goals in Turkey and the Armenia question.
The Fifth World Water Forum, a meeting focused on water scarcity and management issues, began this week in Istanbul, Turkey -- a country dealing with its own water crisis as the government builds a controversial dam.
Robert Pastor of American University and the Carter Center discusses diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and others to end fighting in Gaza.
The fighting in Gaza has sent thousands of protesters into streets around the world, championing both for and against Israel's military campaign and Hamas rocket attacks.
Many countries are increasing online censorship, sparking intense debate from bloggers.
A Worldfocus contributing blogger examines the motivations behind the presidential meeting and the impact of the Georgia-Russia conflict on the region.