Kurdistan Overview

Kurdistan Corresponds to the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates, comprising the oil basin of Kirkuk and Mosul, in Iraq. It covers lands from eastern Turkey, Syria, northern Iraq, western Iran and the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan).

The Kurdish people are marked by a unique fact: with 25 million people, it is the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of its own and fragmented among several countries.

They are an ancient, Aryan, Persian-speaking people. Its habits and culture were outlined in the mountainous areas between Turkey, Iraq, Armenia and Iran. It has a rich history, which peaked in the Middle Ages, with the Saladin dynasty, which overcame the Crusaders and regained Palestine for Muslims.

After 1918, when the Turkish-Ottoman Empire was dismembered, new countries were formed, such as Turkey, Iraq and Syria, and the Kurdish ethnicity, a minority, started to be repressed.

Since the 1960s, the Kurdish separatist movement has been growing in Iraq. In the 1980s, Iraq carried out the destruction of cities and the deportation of Kurdish nationalists, due to their opposition to the Iraqi government.

In the 1990s, Kurdish factions resumed the internal struggles triggered by rivalries between the main leaders.

The autonomous Kurdish region, to the north of Iraq, subjected to the international blockade and to the imposed by Iraq, has remained since 1991 under the threat of the increase of the tribal conflicts and the intervention of the Turkish and Iranian armies. In this region, the economic crisis, hunger and violence have worsened.

Until, in 1996, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) asked for help from the Iraqi government itself to impose itself on the rival party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUIÇ), which receives support from Iran and Turkey. Thus, Iraqi troops occupy the Iraqi Kurdistan capital, Arbil, disrespecting the no-fly zone above the 36 ° parallel. This fact again provoked US intervention in Iraq. But the KDP, Democratic Party of Kurdistan, with the support of the government of Iraq itself, managed in a few days (September / 96) to dominate the main Kurdish cities.

Kurdish nationalism gained importance in the 1990s.

In Turkey, the government applied discriminatory policies against the Kurds until 2002, depriving them of their identity, banning both their language and some of their most characteristic customs.

In Iran, Kurds are persecuted by the country’s Shiite majority

In Iraq, Kurds are hoping to see their status as a country recognized. These expectations were dashed and the Iraqi government implemented a policy of displacing the Kurdish population, leading to armed clashes.

Kurdistan Overview