Turkey stands as the only democratic state with a predominantly Muslim population. Although most of Turkey’s territory lies in the Middle East, its political leaders have created a West European-style constitutional republic with a pro-Western foreign policy. Turkey boasts a democratically elected parliament and an independent judiciary. It is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Council of Europe, the European Union (associate member), and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Turkey is also an American ally and has often been a major recipient of United States foreign aid.