« Back to Glossary Index

I. Kurdistan Overview
– Etymology: Kurdistan means Land of the Kurds, with unclear origins of the name Kurd
– Geographical Features: Encompasses the northwestern Zagros and eastern Taurus mountain ranges, disputed delineation
– Population: Estimated at around 34.5 million, with Kurds making up 86% in Northern Kurdistan
– Subdivisions: Upper and Lower Kurdistan, with specific provinces and main cities identified
– Climate, Flora & Fauna: Continental climate, diverse vegetation, and animal species
– Petroleum & Minerals: Region has significant oil reserves, attracting foreign investments
– Media & Television: Limited information available, with notable TV program Azhdar Show
– Geography & History: Spanning areas in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, with a mountainous terrain

II. Historical Context and Political Status
– Historical Delineation: Encyclopaedia of Islam delineated Kurdistan in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria
– Early History: Kingdom of Corduene, post-classical Kurdish principalities, and semi-independent emirates
– Modern Political Status: Iraqi Kurdistan gained autonomy in 1970, Syrian Kurds established self-governing regions
– Modern History: Treaties, Kurdish regions assigned to Iraq and Syria, emergence of Kurdistan Region in 1992
– International Recognition: Support for Kurdish democracy in Iraq, U.S. Intelligence report on potential Kurdish state by 2030

III. Conflict and Regional Dynamics
– Northern Kurdistan: Long-running Kurdish-Turkish conflict, major rebellions, Turkish government restrictions
– Iraqi Kurdistan: Increased independence after 2014 offensive, buffer state against ISIL, cooperation with Turkey
– Relationship with Neighbors: Historical land boundaries, Kurdish areas split between empires, geopolitical significance
– Turkmens: Presence in Iraq and Syria, calls for independence, relevance of Pan-Turkism
– Kurdish Nationalism: Promotion of language and myths, potential for Kurdish state by 2030, impact of ISIS on Iraqi Kurds

IV. Cultural and Social Aspects
– People: Ethnic minorities like Arabs, Turks, Assyrians, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis in Northern Kurdistan
– Language: Teaching Kurdish in Latin characters, Kurdish League Delegation’s map in 1945
– Identity: Rise of ISIS affecting Kurdish identity, Kurdish state potential by 2030
– Media & Gallery: Limited information available, focus on a notable TV program and images of Kurdish regions
– Sources & References: Scholarly works on Kurdish culture, history, and geography

V. Economic Resources and Development
– Petroleum & Minerals: Significant oil reserves attracting foreign investments, strategic importance of Al-Hasakah province
– Economic Development: Oil extraction commenced in 2007, contracts with foreign companies, tensions with Baghdad
– International Support: Turkey’s readiness to accept a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq, international recognition and support
– Conflict Impacts: Kurdish rebels’ actions in Turkey, arrests for raising Kurdistan flag, obstacles to Kurdish conflict resolution
– Regional Dynamics: Turkmens calling for independence, Syrian Kurds fleeing to Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s involvement in Syria

Kurdistan (Wikipedia)

Kurdistan (Kurdish: کوردستان, romanized: Kurdistan, lit.'land of the Kurds'; [ˌkʊɾdɪˈstɑːn] ), or Greater Kurdistan, is a roughly defined geo-cultural region in West Asia wherein the Kurds form a prominent majority population and the Kurdish culture, languages, and national identity have historically been based. Geographically, Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges.

کوردستان (Kurdish)
Kurdish-inhabited areas (according to the CIA, 1992)[1][2]
Kurdish-inhabited areas (according to the CIA, 1992)
Main languages
Integrated parts of Iran and Turkey with varying degrees of autonomy in Iraq and Syria
• Total
392,000 km2 (151,000 sq mi)
• Estimate
25-30 million

Kurdistan generally comprises the following four regions: southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan), and northern Syria (Western Kurdistan). Some definitions also include parts of southern Transcaucasia. Certain Kurdish nationalist organizations seek to create an independent nation state consisting of some or all of these areas with a Kurdish majority, while others campaign for greater autonomy within the existing national boundaries. Though, the delineation of the region remains disputed and varied, with some maps greatly exaggerating its boundaries.

Historically, the word "Kurdistan" is first attested in 11th century Seljuk chronicles. Many disparate Kurdish dynasties, emirates, principalities, and chiefdoms were established from the 8th to 19th centuries. Administratively, the 20th century saw the establishment of the short-lived areas of the Kurdish state (1918–1919), Kingdom of Kurdistan (1921–1924), Kurdistansky Uyezd i.e. "Red Kurdistan" (1923–1929), Republic of Ararat (1927–1930), and Republic of Mahabad (1946).

Iraqi Kurdistan first gained autonomous status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, and its status was re-confirmed as the autonomous Kurdistan Region within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005. There is also a Kurdistan Province in Iran, which is not self-ruled. Kurds fighting in the Syrian Civil War were able to take control of large sections of northern Syria and establish self-governing regions in an Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (commonly called Rojava), where they seek autonomy in a federal Syria after the war.

« Back to Glossary Index