Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Under Kemal's leadership and a governing principle called Kemalism, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. Its strategic location on the border of the Asian and European continents lends the country a unique blend of Eastern and Western traditions. While Turkey prides itself on being a democratic, secular society, ethnic conflict between the Turks and the Kurds, Turkey's largest ethnic minority, has plagued the country. Recent calls to increasingly govern by Islamic law have also created new conflict in this country, which has been pursuing membership in the European Union.