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Kurdistan

KURDISTAN

The land of the Kurds.

Kurdistan does not have boundaries on any map, but it extends over five Middle Eastern states: Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and parts of the former Soviet Armenia. It is a 620-mile (1,000 km) strip of land that, stretching from the southeast to the northwest, extends from Kermanshah (Iran) to the Gulf of Iskenderun (or Alexandretta, Turkey). Its width varies from about 150 miles (250 km) to 250 miles (400 km) between Mosul and Mount Ararat. The heart of Kurdistan is two long chains of mountains, the Taurus and the Zagros, which have many summits towering over 9,800 feet (3,000 m), while Mount Ararat reaches 16,900 feet (5,157 m).

Two long rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, have their sources in Kurdistan, which is also watered by two huge lakesVan in Turkey and Urmia in Iran. Despite its harsh climate, Kurdistan is very fertile and rich in natural resources, particularly petroleum (especially in Kirkuk). Sulaymaniya, Diyarbakir, and Sanandaj have long been considered the "capitals" of Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkish Kurdistan, and Iranian Kurdistan, respectively. Iran is the only country where the word Kurdistan officially appears on the map, as a province.

There are no official statistics, but it is estimated that the Kurds number more than 25 million. Sharing a common culture (although they speak three different Kurdish dialectsKurmanji, Sorani, and Zaza) and artifically divided by international borders that were imposed on them after World War I, the Kurds have not been able to develop a single and unified Kurdish national movement. They have fought separately in Turkey (Öcalan's Kurdistan Workers Party), in Iraq (KDP and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), and in Iran (KDPI, Iran), sometimes even allowing the neighboring countries to play upon their divisions. Long considered an obscure minority problem, the Kurdish issue has become an international question since the invasion of Kuwait (1990), the Gulf War (1991), and the creation in northern Iraq of a Kurdish Autonomous Zone, which is now shown on all maps of the Middle East.

see also diyarbakir; gulf crisis (19901991); kurdish autonomous zone; kurdish revolt; kurds; sulaymaniya.


Bibliography


McDowall, David. A Modern History of Kurds, 2d revised and updated edition. New York; London: I. B. Taruis, 2000.

Randal, Jonathan C. After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?: My Encounters with Kurdistan. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.

Van Bruinessen, Martin. Aghas, Shaikhs, and State. London: Zed Books, 1992.

chris kutschera

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"Kurdistan." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Kurdistan." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/kurdistan

"Kurdistan." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/kurdistan

Kurdistan

Kurdistan Extensive mountainous and plateau region in sw Asia, inhabited by the Kurds and including parts of e Turkey, ne Iran, n Iraq, ne Syria, s Armenia and e Azerbaijan. Plans for the creation of a separate Kurdish state were put forward after World War I but subsequently abandoned. Area: c.192,000sq km (74,000sq mi).

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"Kurdistan." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Kurdistan

Kurdistan: see under Kurds.

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"Kurdistan." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Kurdistan

KurdistanAbadan, Abidjan, Amman, Antoine, Arne, Aswan, Avon, Azerbaijan, Baltistan, Baluchistan, Bantustan, barn, Bhutan, Dagestan, darn, dewan, Farne, guan, Hahn, Hanuman, Hindustan, Huascarán, Iban, Iran, Isfahan, Juan, Kazakhstan, khan, Koran, Kurdistan, Kurgan, Kyrgyzstan, macédoine, Mahon, maidan, Marne, Michoacán, Oman, Pakistan, pan, Pathan, Qumran, Rajasthan, Shan, Siân, Sichuan, skarn, soutane, Sudan, Tai'an, t'ai chi ch'uan, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Taklimakan, tarn, Tatarstan, Tehran, Tenochtitlán, Turkestan, Turkmenistan, tzigane, Uzbekistan, Vientiane, yarn, Yinchuan, yuan, Yucatán •Autobahn • Lindisfarne •Bildungsroman • Nisan • Khoisan •Afghanistan • bhagwan • Karajan

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