Whereabouts of the Kurds

By Mohammad Akbar Notezai

If we peruse the history of the Kurds they are largely Sunni Muslims with their own language and culture, living in adjacent areas of the Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Armenia, is a mountainous region of the southwest Asia which is called Kurdistan (Land of Kurds).

The Kurds grazed sheep and goats as well lived a nomadic life before World War-I.

The Kurds have been betrayed many times, not to be given recognition. That is why they are still striving for the autonomy, especially in Turkey in which their cultural rights are snatched. Under duress Kurds wear Turkish costumes when they go to cities. They are called, in Turkey, mountainous Turks’, not the mountainous Kurds.

The break up of the Ottoman Empire created many states, but not a separate Kurdistan. Unfortunately, they are free to roam any where, are forced to quit migration and tradition.

The treaty of Severes, in 1920, formed new states like Iraq, Syria and Kuwait, but the possibility of a Kurdish state was not implemented at that time. Soon after the throw of the Turkish monarchy by Ataturk,Turkey,Iran and Iraq did not agree to declare an independent Kurdistan.

Kurds faced repression, in Iraq, at the hand of Saddam Hussain because the favored in the 1980-1998 Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussain vented his anger on innocent Kurds by using nuclear weapons against then in Kurds’ dwelling villages. It forced 2 Million Kurds to flee from Iraq to Iran, but more then 5 Million Kurds are still living in Iraq.

Unfortunately, Kruds in their region are hardly unified, like two factions of the Kurds in Iraq, had a skirmish which killed many of the Kurds belong to Kurdistan Democratic Party Massoud Bargzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by Jalal Talabani. They were brought to cease fire in 1998.

While, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK is backing on insurgency in Turkey for an independent state, which is opposed by Kurds’ faction Massoud Barzani, live in Iraqi Kurdistan and they want Self-Government with in Iraq.

Abdullah Ocalan, founder of the PKK, was killed by Turkish forces. His killing instigated the masses for demonstration in Turkey, especially the European part of the Turkey. There is why now they are for an independent state.

Background of the Kurds:

Of course, Kurds have been crushed many times whenever they tried to set up an independent state in Iran,Iraq and Turkey.

The Kurdish people:

15 to 20 Million Kurds live in a mountainous area the borders of Armenia,Iran,Iraq,Syria and Turkey. About 8 Million live in southeastern Turkey.

They are non-Arabic people who speak a language related to Persian most adhere to the Sunni Muslim faith.


Kurds are promised independence by the treaty of Severes in 1920.

In 1923, Turkish leader Mustafa Attaturk rejected the treaty, and Turkish forces crushed Kurdish uprising in 1920s and 1930s.

In 1978, Abdullah Ocalan established PKK, advocates independence in 1979, Ocalan flees Turkey for Syria. In 1984, Ocalan’s PKK begins armed struggled against Turkish forces, which costs 30,000 lives. Abdullah is captured in 1999, where he faces the death penalty.


1946: Kurds’ republic of Mahabad, with backing Soviet Union, is crushed Iranian monarch.

1979: Iran’s revolution allows Kurds to establish unofficial border area free of Iranian government; Kruds don’t hold it for a longtime.


Kurds in Northern Iraq, revolt in 1919, 1923 and 1932, but are crushed.

Under Mustafa Bargani, they wage on intermittent struggle against Baghdad.

1970: Baghdad gives Kurds language and self-rule, but deal breaks down over oil revenues.

1974: Iraqis force 130,000 Kurds in to Iran, but Iran withdraws its support for Kurds the following year.

1988: Iraqis launch poison-gas attack, killing 5,000 Kurds in town of Halabjd.

1991: After Persian Gulf War,Northern Iraq’s Kurdish area comes under international protection.

1999: Two rival Iraqi Kurdish factions one led by Mustafa Bargani’s son Massoud the other by Jalal Talabani, broker a peace deal, goal is for Kurdish area to become part of a democratic Iraq.


Posted on April 16, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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