|Estimated 30 to 38 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Kurdish and Zazaki–Gorani
In their different forms: Sorani, Kurmanji, Fayli, Southern Kurdish, Laki, Zazaki, Bajalani, Gorani
|Mostly Islam (predominately Sunni, but also Shia and Sufism) with minorities of Atheism, Agnosticism, Yazdânism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Judaism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Iranian peoples|
All population numbers are estimates by 3rd parties.Turkey, Iran and Syria do not track or provide population statistics.
They are an Iranian people and speak the Kurdish languages, which are members of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. The Kurds number about 30 million, the majority living in West Asia, with significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia, Lebanon and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States.
The Kurds are in the majority in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and are a significant minority group in the neighboring countries Turkey, Syria and Iran, where Kurdish nationalist movements continue to pursue (greater) autonomy.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Language
- 3 Population
- 4 History
- 5 Kurdish communities
- 6 Religion
- 7 Culture
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
The exact origins of the name "Kurd" are unclear, though it is believed that the term precedes the formation of the ethnic group by centuries or even millennia.
G.S. Reynolds believes that the term Kurd is most likely related to the ancient term Qardu. The common root of Kurd and Qardu is first mentioned in a Sumerian tablet from the third millennium BC as the "land of Kar-da." The term Qardu, however, appears in Assyrian sources, where it refers to the contemporary Mount Judi, and which derived its name from the people inhabiting the region, the Carduchi, mentioned by Xenophon as the tribe who opposed the retreat of the Ten Thousand through the mountains north of Mesopotamia in the 4th century BC. However, according to G. Asatrian, the most reasonable explanation of the ethnonym is its possible connections with the Cyrtii (Cyrtaei).
The word Kurd was first written in sources in the form of Kurt(kwrt-) in the Middle Persian treatise (Karnamak Ardashir Papakan and the Matadakan i Hazar Dastan), used to describe a social group or tribes that existed before the development of the modern ethnic nation. The term was adopted by Arabic writers of the early Islamic era and gradually became associated with an amalgamation of Iranian and Iranicized nomadic tribes and groups in the region. Sherefxan Bidlisi states that there are four division of Kurds: Kurmanj, Lur, Kalhor and Guran, each of which speak a different dialect or language variation. Of these, according to Ludwig Paul, only Kurmanji and possibly the Kalhuri correspond to the Kurdish language, while Luri and Gurani are linguistically distinct. Nonetheless, Ludwig writes that linguistics does not provide a definition for when a language becomes a dialect, and thus, non-linguistic factors contribute to the ethnic unity of some of the said groups, namely the Kurmanj, Kalhur, and Guran.
The Kurdish language (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) refers collectively to the related dialects spoken by the Kurds. It is mainly spoken in those parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey which comprise Kurdistan. Kurdish holds official status in Iraq as a national language alongside Arabic, is recognized in Iran as a regional language, and in Armenia as a minority language.
Most Kurds are either bilingual or multilingual, speaking the language of their respective nation of origin, such as Arabic, Persian, and Turkish as a second language alongside their native Kurdish, while those in diaspora communities often speak 3 or more languages. Kurdish Jews and some Kurdish Christians (not to be confused with ethnic Assyrians) usually speak Aramaic (for example: Lishana Deni) as their first language. Aramaic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic rather than Kurdish.
The Kurdish dialects according to Mackenzie are classified as:
- Northern group (the Kurmanji dialect group)
- Central group (part of the Sorani dialect group)
- Southern group (part of the Sorani dialect group) including Kermanshahi, Ardalani and Laki
Commenting on the differences between the dialects of Kurdish, Kreyenbroek clarifies that in some ways, Kurmanji and Sorani are as different from each other as English and German, giving the example that Kurmanji has grammatical gender and case endings, but Sorani does not, and observing that referring to Sorani and Kurmanji as "dialects" of one language is supported only by "their common origin...and the fact that this usage reflects the sense of ethnic identity and unity of the Kurds."
The number of Kurds living in Southwest Asia is estimated at 26-34 million, with another one or two million living in diaspora. Kurds are the fourth largest ethnicity in Western Asia after the Arabs, Persians, and Turks.
Kurds comprise anywhere from 18% to 25% of the population in Turkey, 15-20% in Iraq, 9% in Syria, 7% in Iran and 1.3% in Armenia. In all of these countries except Iran, Kurds form the second largest ethnic group. Roughly 55% of the world's Kurds live in Turkey, about 18% each in Iran and Iraq, and a bit over 5% in Syria.
McDowall has estimated that in 1991 the Kurds comprised 19% of the population in Turkey, 23% in Iraq, 10% in Iran, and 8% in Syria. The total number of Kurds in 1991 was in this estimate placed at 22.5 million, with 48% of this number living in Turkey, 18% in Iraq, 24% in Iran, and 4% in Syria.
Arab sources mentioned Kurds as an ethnic group in the medieval period. The Kurdish people are believed to be of heterogeneous origins combining a number of earlier tribal or ethnic groups including Median, Lullubi, Guti, Cyrtians, Carduchi. They have also absorbed some elements from Semitic, Turkic and Armenian people. According to J.P. Mallory, the original Gutians precede the arrival of Indo-Iranian peoples (of which the Kurds are one) by some 1500 years. Additionally Minorsky states that there is an "ethno-geographical identification" of present day Kurds as descendant of ancient Medes, an idea based on his "historical, linguistic, and philological" arguments. This was further advanced by I. Gershevitch who provided first "a piece of linguistic confirmation" of Minorsky's identification and then another "sociolinguistic" argument. Those works of Minorsky were the base of yet another and different approach by Mackenzie. He argued that in contrast to Minorsky (and precisely Gershevitch's advancement) the evolution of the present day Kurdish language as a Northwestern Iranian language was to "lean more toward Persian" and in turn "marked off from Median". These disagreements of scholars caused bitter reactions. Dandamaev considers Carduchi (who were from the upper Tigris near the Assyrian and Median borders) less likely than Cyrtians as ancestors of modern Kurds. However according to McDowall, the term Cyrtii was first applied to Seleucid or Parthian mercenary slingers from Zagros, and it is not clear if it denoted a coherent linguistic or ethnic group. Gershevitch and Fisher consider the independent Kardouchoi or Carduchi as the ancestors of the Kurds, or at least the original nucleus of the Iranian-speaking people in what is now Kurdistan.
There are multiple legends that detail the origins of the Kurds. One details the Kurds as being the descendants of King Solomon’s angelic servants (Djinn). These were sent to Europe to bring him five-hundred beautiful maidens, for the king's harem. However, when these had done so and returned to Israel the king had already passed away. As such, the Djinn settled in the mountains, married the women themselves, and their offspring came to be known as the Kurds.
Additionally, in the legend of Newroz, an evil Assyrian king named Zahak, who had two snakes growing out of his shoulders, had conquered Iran, and terrorized its subjects; demanding daily sacrifices in the form of young men's brains. Unknowingly to Zahak, the cooks of the palace saved one of the men, and mixed the brains of the other with those of a sheep. The men that were saved were told to flee to the mountains. Hereafter, Kaveh the Blacksmith, who had already lost several of his children to Zahak, trained the men in the mountains, and stormed Zahak’s palace, severing the heads of the snakes and killing the tyrannical king. Kaveh was instilled as the new king, and his followers formed the beginning of the Kurdish people.
In the writings of the Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi, there's also a legend concerning the Kurds to be found. He states to have learned of this legend from a certain Mighdisî, an Armenian historian:
According to the chronicler Mighdisî, the first town to be built after Noah's Flood was the town of Judi, followed by the fortresses of Sinjar and Mifariqin. The town of Judi was ruled by Melik Kürdim of the Prophet Noah's community, a man who lived no less than 600 years and who travelled the length and width of Kurdistan. Coming to Mifariqin he liked its climate and settled there, begetting many children and descendants. He invented a language of his own, independent of Hebrew. It is neither Hebrew nor Arabic, Farsi, Dari or Pahlavi; they still call it the language of Kürdim. So the Kurdish language, which was invented in Mifariqin and is now used throughout Kurdistan, owes its name to Melik Kürdim of the community of the Prophet Noah. Because Kurdistan is an endless stony stretch of mountains, there are no less than twelve varieties of Kurdish, differing from one another in pronunciation and vocabulary, so that they often have to use interpreters to understand one another's words.
The first attestation of the Kurds was during the time of rule of the Sassanids. In the Kar-Namag i Ardashir i Pabagan, a short prose work written in Middle Persian, Ardashir I is depicted as having battled the Kurds and their leader, Madig. After initially sustaining a heavy defeat, Ardashir I was successful in subjugating the Kurds. In a letter Ardashir I received from his foe, Ardavan V, which is also featured in the same work, he’s referred to as being a Kurd himself.
- You've bitten off more than you can chew
- and you have brought death to yourself.
- O son of a Kurd, raised in the tents of the Kurds,
- who gave you permission to put a crown on your head?
Similarly, in AD 360, the Sassanid king Shapur II marched into the Roman province Zabdicene, to conquer its chief city, Bezabde, present-day Cizre. He found it heavily fortified, and guarded by three legions and a large body of Kurdish archers. After a long and hard-fought siege, Shapur II breached the walls, conquered the city and massacred all its defenders. Hereafter he had the strategically located city repaired, provisioned and garrisoned with his best troops.
There is also a 7th-century text by an unidentified author, written about the legendary Christian martyr Mar Qardagh. He lived in the 4th century, during the reign of Shapur II, and during his travels is said to have encountered Mar Abdisho, a deacon and martyr, who, after having been questioned of his origins by Mar Qardagh and his Marzobans, stated that his parents were originally from an Assyrian village called Hazza, but were driven out and subsequently settled in Tamanon, a village in the land of the Kurds, identified as being in the region of Mount Judi.
In the early Middle Ages, the Kurds sporadically appear in Arabic sources, though the term was still not being used for a specific people; instead it referred to an amalgam of nomadic western Iranic tribes, who were distinct from Persians. However, in the High Middle Ages, the Kurdish ethnic identity gradually materialized, as one can find clear evidence of the Kurdish ethnic identity and solidarity in texts of the 12th and 13th century, though, the term was also still being used in the social sense.
Al-Tabari wrote that in 639, Hormuzan, a Sasanian general originating from a noble family, battled against the Islamic invaders in Khuzestan, and called upon the Kurds to aid him in battle. They were defeated however, and brought under Islamic rule.
In 838, a Kurdish leader based in Mosul, named Mir Jafar, revolted against the Caliph Al-Mu'tasim who sent the commander Itakh to combat him. Itakh won this war and executed many of the Kurds. Eventually Arabs conquered the Kurdish regions and gradually converted the majority of Kurds to Islam, often incorporating them into the military, such as the Hamdanids whose dynastic family members also frequently intermarried with Kurds.
In 934 the Daylamite Buyid dynasty was founded, and subsequently conquered most of present-day Iran and Iraq. During the time of rule of this dynasty, Kurdish chief and ruler, Badr ibn Hasanwaih, established himself as one of the most important emirs of the time.
In the 10th-12th centuries, a number of Kurdish principalities and dynasties were founded, ruling Kurdistan and neighbouring areas:
- The Shaddadid (951–1174) ruled parts of present-day Armenia and Arran.
- The Rawadid (955–1221) ruled Azerbaijan.
- The Hasanwayhids (959–1015) ruled western Iran and upper Mesopotamia.
- The Marwanids (990–1096) ruled eastern Anatolia.
- The Annazids (990–1117) ruled western Iran and upper Mesopotamia (succeeded the Hasanwayhids).
- The Kakuyids (1008–1051) ruled Isfahan, Yazd and Abarkuh.
- The Hazaraspids (1148–1424) ruled southwestern Iran.
- The Ayyubids (1171–1341) ruled parts of southeastern Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.
Due to the Turkic invasion of Anatolia, the 11th century Kurdish dynasties crumbled and became incorporated into the Seljuk Dynasty. Kurds would hereafter be used in great numbers in the armies of the Zengids. Succeeding the Zengids, the Kurdish Ayyubids established themselves in 1171, first under the leadership of Saladin. Saladin led the Muslims to recapture the city of Jerusalem from the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin; also frequently clashing with the Hashashins. The Ayyubid dynasty lasted until 1341 when the Ayyubid sultanate fell to Mongolian invasions.
The Safavid Dynasty, established in 1501, also established its rule over Kurdish territories. The paternal line of this family actually had Kurdish roots, tracing back to Firuz-Shah Zarrin-Kolah, a dignitary who moved from Kurdistan to Ardabil in the 11th century.
Nevertheless, the Kurds would revolt several times against the Safavids. Shah Ismail I put down a Yezidi rebellion which went on from 1506-1510. A century later, the year-long Battle of Dimdim took place, wherein Shah Abbas I succeeded in putting down the rebellion led by Amir Khan Lepzerin. Hereafter, a large number of Kurds was deported to Khorasan, not only to weaken the Kurds, but also to protect the eastern border from invading Afghan and Turkmen tribes. Others migrated to Afghanistan where they took refuge. Kurds were found in great numbers at the slave markets of Khiva and Bukhara, being sold by the Turkmens. The Kurds of Khorasan, numbering around 700,000, still use the Kurmanji Kurdish dialect.
After the fall of the Safavids, Iran fell into civil war, with multiple leaders trying to gain control over the country. Ultimately, it was Karim Khan, a Laki general of the Zand tribe (perhaps of Kurdish origin) One of the contenders for power was Karim Khan Zand, a member of the Lak tribe near Shiraz. who proved to be superiour, and became ruler of Iran with the exception of the Khorasan region.
The country would flourish during Karim Khan’s reign; a strong resurgence of the arts would take place, the economy was restored and international ties were strengthened. Karim Khan was portrayed as being a ruler who truly cared about his subjects, thereby gaining the title Vakil e-Ra’aayaa (Representative of the People).
After Karim Khan's death, the dynasty would decline in favor of the rivaling Qajars due to infighting between the Khan’s incompetent offspring. It wasn't until Lotf Ali Khan, 10 years later, that the dynasty would once again be led by an adept ruler. By this time however, the Qajars had already progressed greatly, having taken a number of Zand territories. Lotf Ali Khan made multiple successes before ultimately succumbing to the rivaling faction. Iran and all its Kurdish territories would hereby be incorporated in the Qajar Dynasty.
When Sultan Selim I, after defeating Shah Ismail I in 1514, annexed Armenia and Kurdistan, he entrusted the organisation of the conquered territories to Idris, the historian, who was a Kurd of Bitlis. He divided the territory into sanjaks or districts, and, making no attempt to interfere with the principle of heredity, installed the local chiefs as governors. He also resettled the rich pastoral country between Erzerum and Erivan, which had lain in waste since the passage of Timur, with Kurds from the Hakkari and Bohtan districts.
The Ottoman centralist policies in the beginning of the 19th century aimed to remove power from the principalities and localities, which directly affected the Kurdish emirs. Bedirhan Bey was the last emir of the Cizre Bohtan Emirate after initiating an uprising in 1847 against the Ottomans to protect the current structures of the Kurdish principalities. Although his uprising is not classified as a nationalist one, his children played significant roles in the emergence and the development of Kurdish nationalism through the next century.
The first modern Kurdish nationalist movement emerged in 1880 with an uprising led by a Kurdish landowner and head of the powerful Shemdinan family, Sheik Ubeydullah, who demanded political autonomy or outright independence for Kurds as well as the recognition of a Kurdistan state without interference from Turkish or Persian authorities. The uprising against Qajar Persia and the Ottoman Empire was ultimately suppressed by the Ottomans and Ubeydullah, along with other notables, were exiled to Istanbul.
Kurdish nationalism emerged after World War I with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire which had historically successfully integrated (but not assimilated) the Kurds, through use of forced repression of Kurdish movements to gain independence. Revolts did occur sporadically but only in 1880 with the uprising led by Sheik Ubeydullah were demands as an ethnic group or nation made. Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid responded by a campaign of integration by co-opting prominent Kurdish opponents to strong Ottoman power with prestigious positions in his government. This strategy appears successful given the loyalty displayed by the Kurdish Hamidiye regiments during World War I.
The Kurdish ethnonationalist movement that emerged following World War I and end of the Ottoman empire was largely reactionary to the changes taking place in mainstream Turkey, primarily radical secularization which the strongly Muslim Kurds abhorred, centralization of authority which threatened the power of local chieftains and Kurdish autonomy, and rampant Turkish nationalism in the new Turkish Republic which obviously threatened to marginalize them.
Jakob Künzler, head of a missionary hospital in Urfa, has documented the large scale ethnic cleansing of both Armenians and Kurds by the Young Turks. He has given a detailed account of deportation of Kurds from Erzurum and Bitlis in winter of 1916. The Kurds were perceived to be subversive elements that would take the Russian side in the war. In order to eliminate this threat, Young Turks embarked on a large scale deportation of Kurds from the regions of Djabachdjur, Palu, Musch, Erzurum and Bitlis. Around 300,000 Kurds were forced to move southwards to Urfa and then westwards to Aintab and Marasch. In the summer of 1917, Kurds were moved to Konya in central Anatolia. Through this measures, the Young Turk leaders aimed at eliminating the Kurds by deporting them from their ancestral lands and by dispersing them in small pockets of exiled communities. By the end of World War I, up to 700,000 Kurds were forcibly deported and almost half of the displaced perished.
Some of the Kurdish groups sought self-determination and the championing in the Treaty of Sèvres of Kurdish autonomy in the aftermath of World War I, Kemal Atatürk prevented such a result. Kurds backed by the United Kingdom declared independence in 1927 and established so-called Republic of Ararat. Turkey suppressed Kurdist revolts in 1925, 1930, and 1937–1938, while Iran did the same in the 1920s to Simko Shikak at Lake Urmia and Jaafar Sultan of Hewraman region who controlled the region between Marivan and north of Halabja. A short-lived Soviet-sponsored Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in Iran did not long outlast World War II.
From 1922–1924 in Iraq a Kingdom of Kurdistan existed. When Ba'athist administrators thwarted Kurdish nationalist ambitions in Iraq, war broke out in the 1960s. In 1970 the Kurds rejected limited territorial self-rule within Iraq, demanding larger areas including the oil-rich Kirkuk region.
During the 1920s and 1930s, several large scale Kurdish revolts took place in Kurdistan Following these rebellions, the area of Turkish Kurdistan was put under martial law and a large number of the Kurds were displaced. Government also encouraged resettlement of Albanians from Kosovo and Assyrians in the region to change the population makeup. These events and measures led to a long-lasting mutual distrust between Ankara and the Kurds . During the relatively open government of the 1950s, Kurds gained political office and started working within the framework of the Turkish Republic to further their interests but this move towards integration was halted with the 1960 Turkish coup d'état. The 1970s saw an evolution in Kurdish nationalism as Marxist political thought influenced a new generation of Kurdish nationalists opposed to the local feudal authorities who had been a traditional source of opposition to authority, eventually they would form the militant separatist PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, European Union, NATO and many states that includes United States), or Kurdistan Workers Party in English.
Kurds are often regarded as "the largest ethnic group without a state", although larger stateless nations exist. Such periphrasis is rejected by leading Kurdologists like Martin van Bruinessen and other scholars who agree that claim obscures Kurdish cultural, social, political and ideological heterogeneity. Michael Radu argues such meaningless claims mostly come from Western human rights militants, leftists and Kurdish nationalists in Europe.
According to CIA Factbook, Kurds formed approximately 18% of the population in Turkey (approximately 14 million) in 2008. One Western source estimates that up to 25% of the Turkish population is Kurdish (approximately 18-19 million people). Kurdish sources claim there are as many as 20 or 25 million Kurds in Turkey. In 1980, Ethnologue estimated the number of Kurdish-speakers in Turkey at around five million, when the country's population stood at 44 million. Kurds form the largest minority group in Turkey, and they have posed the most serious and persistent challenge to the official image of a homogeneous society. This classification was changed to the new euphemism of Eastern Turk in 1980.
Several large scale Kurdish revolts in 1925, 1930 and 1938 were suppressed by the Turkish government and more than one million Kurds were forcibly relocated between 1925 and 1938. The use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned and the Kurdish-inhabited areas remained under martial law until 1946. The Ararat revolt, which reached its apex in 1930, was only suppressed after a massive military campaign including destruction of many villages and their populations. In quelling the revolt, Turkey was assisted by the close cooperation of its neighboring states such as Soviet Union, Iran and Iraq. The revolt was organized by a Kurdish party called Khoybun which signed a treaty with the Dashnaksutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) in 1927. By the 1970s, Kurdish leftist organizations such as Kurdistan Socialist Party-Turkey (KSP-T) emerged in Turkey which were against violence and supported civil activities and participation in elections. In 1977, Mehdi Zana a supporter of KSP-T won the mayoralty of Diyarbakir in the local elections. At about the same time, generational fissures gave birth to two new organizations: the National Liberation of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Workers Party.
The Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK), also known as KADEK and Kongra-Gel, is considered by the US, the EU, and NATO to be a terrorist organization. It is an ethnic secessionist organization using violence for the purpose of achieving its goal of creating an independent Kurdish state in parts of southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran.
Between 1984 and 1999, the PKK and the Turkish military engaged in open war, and much of the countryside in the southeast was depopulated, as Kurdish civilians moved to local defensible centers such as Diyarbakır, Van, and Şırnak, as well as to the cities of western Turkey and even to western Europe. The causes of the depopulation included PKK atrocities against Kurdish clans they could not control, the poverty of the southeast, and the Turkish state's military operations. State actions also included forced inscription, forced evacuation, destruction of villages, severe harassment and extrajudicial executions.
Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish female MP from Diyarbakir, caused an uproar in Turkish Parliament after adding the following sentence in Kurdish to her parliamentary oath during the swearing-in ceremony in 1994:
I take this oath for the brotherhood of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. —
In March 1994, the Turkish Parliament voted to lift the immunity of Zana and five other Kurdish DEP members: Hatip Dicle, Ahmet Turk, Sirri Sakik, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak. Zana, Dicle, Sadak and Dogan were sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Supreme Court in October 1995. Zana was awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights by the European Parliament in 1995. She was released in 2004 amid warnings from European institutions that the continued imprisonment of the four Kurdish MPs would affect Turkey's bid to join the EU. The 2009 local elections resulted in 5.7% for Kurdish political party DTP.
Officially protected death squads are accused of disappearance of 3,200 Kurds and Assyrians in 1993 and 1994 in the so-called mystery killings. Kurdish politicians, human-rights activists, journalists, teachers and other members of intelligentsia were among the victims. Virtually none of the perpetrators were investigated nor punished. Turkish government also encouraged Islamic extremist group Hezbollah to assassinate suspected PKK members and often ordinary Kurds. Azimet Köylüoğlu, the state minister of human rights, revealed the extent of security forces' excesses in autumn 1994: While acts of terrorism in other regions are done by the PKK; in Tunceli it is state terrorism. In Tunceli, it is the state that is evacuating and burning villages. In the southeast there are two million people left homeless.
The Kurdish region of Iran has been a part of the country since ancient times. Nearly all Kurdistan was part of Iranian Empire until its Western part was lost during wars against the Ottoman Empire. Following dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, at Paris Conferences of 1919 Tehran has demanded all lost territories including Turkish Kurdistan, Mosul, and even Diyarbakır, but demands were quickly rejected by Western powers. This area has been divided by modern Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Today, the Kurds inhabit mostly north western territories known as Iranian Kurdistan but also north eastern region of Khorasan, and constitute approximately 7-10% of Iran's overall population (6.5–7.9 million), comparing to 10.6% (2 million) in 1956 or 8% (800 thousand) in 1850.
|Major Ethnic Groups of Iran|
Unlike in other Kurdish-populated countries, there are strong ethnolinguistical and cultural ties between Kurds, Persians and others as Iranian peoples. Some of modern Iranian dynasties like Safavids and Zands are considered to be partly of Kurdish origin. Kurdish literature in all of its forms (Kurmanji, Sorani and Gorani) has been developed within historical Iranian boundaries under strong influence of Persian language. Fact that Kurds share much of their history with the rest of Iran is seen as reason why Kurdish leaders in Iran do not want a separate Kurdish state
The government of Iran has never employed the same level of brutality against its own Kurds like Turkey or Iraq, but it has always been implacably opposed to any suggestion of Kurdish separatism. During and shortly after First World War the government of Iran was ineffective and had very little control over events in the country and several Kurdish tribal chiefs gained local political power, even established large confederations. In the same time, wave of nationalism from disintegrating Ottoman Empire has partly influenced some Kurdish chiefs in border region, and they posed as Kurdish nationalist leaders. Prior to this, identity in both countries largely relied upon religion i.e. Shia Islam in the particular case of Iran. In 19th century Iran, Shia–Sunni animosity and describing Sunni Kurds as Ottoman fifth column was quite frenquent.
During late 1910's and early 1920's, tribal revolt led by Kurdish chieftain Simko Shikak struck north western Iran. Although elements of Kurdish nationalism were present in this movement, historians agree these were hardly articulate enough to justify a claim that recognition of Kurdish identity was a major issue in Simko's movement, and he had to rely heavily on conventional tribal motives. Government forces and non-Kurds were not the only ones to suffer in the attacks, the Kurdish population was also robbed and assaulted. Rebels do not appear to have felt any sense of unity or solidarity with fellow Kurds. Kurdish insurgency and seasonal migrations in late 1920's, along with long-running tensions between Tehran and Ankara, resulted in border clashes and even military penetrations in both Iranian and Turkish territory. Two regional powers have used Kurdish tribes as tool for own political benefits: Turkey has provided military help and refuge for anti-Iranian Turcophone Shikak rebels in 1918-1922, while Iran did the same during Ararat rebellion against Turkey in 1930. Reza Shah's military victory over Kurdish and Turkic tribal leaders initiaded with repressive era toward non-Iranian minorities. Government's forced detribalization and sedentarization in 1920's and 1930's resulted with many other tribal revolts in Iranian regions of Azerbaijan, Luristan and Kurdistan. In particular case of the Kurds, this repressive policies partly contributed to developing nationalism among some tribes.
As a response to growing Pan-Turkism and Pan-Arabism in region which were seen as potential threats to the territorial integrity of Iran, Pan-Iranist ideology has been developed in the early 1920s. Some of such groups and journals openly advocated Iranian support to the Kurdish rebellion against Turkey. Secular Pahlavi dynasty has endorsed Iranian ethnic nationalism which seen the Kurds as integral part of the Iranian nation. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi has personally praised the Kurds as "pure Iranians" or "one of the most noble Iranian peoples". Another significant ideology during this period was Marxism which arose among Kurds under influence of USSR. It culminated in the Iran crisis of 1946 which included a separatist attempt of KDP-I and communist groups to establish the Soviet puppet government called Republic of Mahabad. It arose along with Azerbaijan People's Government, another Soviet puppet state. The state itself encompassed a very small territory, including Mahabad and the adjacent cities, unable to incorporate the southern Iranian Kurdistan which fell inside the Anglo-American zone, and unable to attract the tribes outside Mahabad itself to the nationalist cause. As a result, when the Soviets withdrew from Iran in December 1946, government forces were able to enter Mahabad unopposed.
Several Marxist insurgencies continuted for decades (1967, 1979, 1989–96) led by KDP-I and Komalah, but those two organization have never advocated a separate Kurdish state or greater Kurdistan as did the PKK in Turkey. Still, many of dissident leaders, among others Qazi Muhammad and Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, were executed or assassinated. During Iran–Iraq War, Tehran has provided support for Iraqi-based Kurdish groups like KDP or PUK, along with asylum for 1,400,000 Iraqi refugees, mostly Kurds. Although Kurdish Marxist groups have been marginalized in Iran since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 2004 new insurrection has been started by PJAK, separatist organization affiliated with the Turkey-based PKK and designated as terrorist by Iran, Turkey and the USA. Some analysts claim PJAK do not pose any serious threat to the government of Iran. Cease-fire has been established on September 2011 following the Iranian offensive on PJAK bases, but several clashes between PJAK and IRGC took place after it. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, accusations of "discrimination" by Western organizations and of "foreign involvement" by Iranian side have become very frequent.
Kurds have been well integrated in Iranian political life during reign of various governments. Kurdish liberal political Karim Sanjabi has served as minister of education under Mohammad Mossadegh in 1952. During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi some members of parliament and high army officers were Kurds, and there was even a Kurdish Cabinet Minister. During the reign of the Pahlavis Kurds received many favours from the authorities, for instance to keep their land after the land reforms of 1962. In early 2000's, presence of thirty Kurdish deputies in the 290-strong parliament has also helped to undermine claims of discrimination. Some of influential Kurdish politicians during recent years include former first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran and second-placed presidential candidate in 2013. Kurdish language is today used more than at any other time since the Revolution, including in several newspapers and among schoolchildren. Large number of Kurds in Iran show no interest in Kurdish nationalism, especially Shia Kurds who even vigorously reject idea of autonomy, preferring direct rule from Tehran. Iranian national identity is questioned only in the peripheral Kurdish Sunni regions.
Kurds constitute approximately 17% of Iraq's population. They are the majority in at least three provinces in northern Iraq which are together known as Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds also have a presence in Kirkuk, Mosul, Khanaqin, and Baghdad. Around 300,000 Kurds live in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 50,000 in the city of Mosul and around 100,000 elsewhere in southern Iraq.
Kurds led by Mustafa Barzani were engaged in heavy fighting against successive Iraqi regimes from 1960 to 1975. In March 1970, Iraq announced a peace plan providing for Kurdish autonomy. The plan was to be implemented in four years. However, at the same time, the Iraqi regime started an Arabization program in the oil-rich regions of Kirkuk and Khanaqin. The peace agreement did not last long, and in 1974, the Iraqi government began a new offensive against the Kurds. Moreover in March 1975, Iraq and Iran signed the Algiers Accord, according to which Iran cut supplies to Iraqi Kurds. Iraq started another wave of Arabization by moving Arabs to the oil fields in Kurdistan, particularly those around Kirkuk. Between 1975 and 1978, 200,000 Kurds were deported to other parts of Iraq.
During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the regime implemented anti-Kurdish policies and a de facto civil war broke out. Iraq was widely condemned by the international community, but was never seriously punished for oppressive measures such as the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians, the wholesale destruction of thousands of villages and the deportation of thousands of Kurds to southern and central Iraq.
The genocidal campaign, conducted between 1986 and 1989 and culminating in 1988, carried out by the Iraqi government against the Kurdish population was called Anfal ("Spoils of War"). The Anfal campaign led to destruction of over two thousand villages and killing of 182,000 Kurdish civilians. The campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, firing squads, and chemical attacks, including the most infamous attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 that killed 5000 civilians instantly.
After the collapse of the Kurdish uprising in March 1991, Iraqi troops recaptured most of the Kurdish areas and 1.5 million Kurds abandoned their homes and fled to the Turkish and Iranian borders. It is estimated that close to 20,000 Kurds succumbed to death due to exhaustion, lack of food, exposure to cold and disease. On 5 April 1991, UN Security Council passed resolution 688 which condemned the repression of Iraqi Kurdish civilians and demanded that Iraq end its repressive measures and allow immediate access to international humanitarian organizations. This was the first international document (since the League of Nations arbitration of Mosul in 1926) to mention Kurds by name. In mid-April, the Coalition established safe havens inside Iraqi borders and prohibited Iraqi planes from flying north of 36th parallel. In October 1991, Kurdish guerrillas captured Erbil and Sulaimaniyah after a series of clashes with Iraqi troops. In late October, Iraqi government retaliated by imposing a food and fuel embargo on the Kurds and stopping to pay civil servants in the Kurdish region. The embargo, however, backfired and Kurds held parliamentary elections in May 1992 and established Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Kurdish population welcomed the American troops in 2003 by holding celebrations and dancing in the streets. The area controlled by peshmerga was expanded, and Kurds now have effective control in Kirkuk and parts of Mosul. The authority of the KRG and legality of its laws and regulations were recognized in the articles 113 and 137 of the new Iraqi Constitution ratified in 2005. By the beginning of 2006, the two Kurdish administrations of Erbil and Sulaimaniya were unified. On August 14, 2007 Yazidis were targeted in a series of bombings that became the deadliest suicide attack since the Iraq War began, killing 796 civilians, wounding 1,562.
Kurds account for 9% of Syria's population, a total of around 1.6 million people. This makes them the largest ethnic minority in the country. They are mostly concentrated in the northeast and the north, but there are also significant Kurdish populations in Aleppo and Damascus. Kurds often speak Kurdish in public, unless all those present do not. According to Amnesty International, Kurdish human rights activists are mistreated and persecuted. No political parties are allowed for any group, Kurdish or otherwise.
Techniques used to suppress the ethnic identity of Kurds in Syria include various bans on the use of the Kurdish language, refusal to register children with Kurdish names, the replacement of Kurdish place names with new names in Arabic, the prohibition of businesses that do not have Arabic names, the prohibition of Kurdish private schools, and the prohibition of books and other materials written in Kurdish. Having been denied the right to Syrian nationality, around 300,000 Kurds have been deprived of any social rights, in violation of international law. As a consequence, these Kurds are in effect trapped within Syria. In March 2011, in part to avoid further demonstrations and unrest from spreading across Syria, the Syrian government promised to tackle the issue and grant Syrian citizenship to approximately 300,000 Kurds who had been previously denied the right.
On March 12, 2004, beginning at a stadium in Qamishli (a largely Kurdish city in northeastern Syria), clashes between Kurds and Syrians broke out and continued over a number of days. At least thirty people were killed and more than 160 injured. The unrest spread to other Kurdish towns along the northern border with Turkey, and then to Damascus and Aleppo.
As a result of Syrian civil war, since July 2012, Kurds were able to take control of large parts of Syrian Kurdistan from Andiwar in extreme northeast to Jindires in extreme northwest Syria.
Between the 1930s and 1980s, Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union, within which Kurds, like other ethnic groups, had the status of a protected minority. Armenian Kurds were permitted their own state-sponsored newspaper, radio broadcasts and cultural events. During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, many non-Yazidi Kurds were forced to leave their homes since both the Azeri and non-Yazidi Kurds were Muslim.
In 1920, two Kurdish-inhabited areas of Jewanshir (capital Kalbajar) and eastern Zangazur (capital Lachin) were combined to form the Kurdistan Okrug (or "Red Kurdistan"). The period of existence of the Kurdish administrative unit was brief and did not last beyond 1929. Kurds subsequently faced many repressive measures, including deportations, imposed by the Soviet government. As a result of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, many Kurdish areas have been destroyed and more than 150,000 Kurds have been deported since 1988 by separatist Armenian forces.
According to a report by the Council of Europe, approximately 1.3 million Kurds live in Western Europe. The earliest immigrants were Kurds from Turkey, who settled in Germany, Austria, the Benelux countries, Great Britain, Switzerland and France during the 1960s. Successive periods of political and social turmoil in the region during the 1980s and 1990s brought new waves of Kurdish refugees, mostly from Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, came to Europe. In recent years, many Kurdish asylum seekers from both Iran and Iraq have settled in the United Kingdom (especially in the town of Dewsbury and in some northern areas of London), which has sometimes caused media controversy over their right to remain. There have been tensions between Kurds and the established Muslim community in Dewsbury, which is home to very traditional mosques such as the Markazi. There was substantial immigration of Kurds into North America, who are mainly political refugees and immigrants seeking economic opportunity. Kurdish immigrants started to settle in large numbers in Nashville in 1976, which is now home to the largest Kurdish community in the United States and is nicknamed Little Kurdistan. Kurdish population in Nashville is estimated to be around 11,000. Total number of ethnic Kurds residing in the United States is estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be around 15,000. According to the 2006 Canadian Census, there were over 9,000 people of Kurdish ethnic background living in Canada and according to the 2011 Census, more than 10,000 Canadians spoke Kurdish language.
As a whole, the Kurdish people are adherents to a large number of different religions and creeds, perhaps constituting the most religiously diverse people of West Asia. Traditionally, Kurds have been known to take great liberties with their practices. This sentiment is reflected in the saying "Compared to the unbeliever, the Kurd is a Muslim".
The Alevis (usually considered adherents of a branch of Shia Islam with elements of Sufism) are another religious minority among the Kurds, living in Eastern Anatolia. Alevism developed out of the teachings of Haji Bektash Veli, a 13th-century mystic from Khorasan. Among the Qizilbash, the militant groups which predate the Alevis and helped establish the Safavid Dynasty, there were numerous Kurdish tribes. The American missionary Stephen van Renssalaer Trowbridge, working at Aintab (present Gaziantep) reported  that his Alevi acquaintances considered as their highest spiritual leaders an Ahl-i Haqq sayyid family in the Guran district.
Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan)
Ahl-i Haqq or Yarsanism is a syncretic religion founded by Sultan Sahak in the late 14th century in western Iran. Most of its adherents, totaling around 1 million, are Kurds. Its central religious text is the Kalâm-e Saranjâm, written in Gurani. In this text, the religion's basic pillars are summarized as: "The Yarsan should strive for these four qualities: purity, rectitude, self-effacement and self-abnegation".
The Yarsan faith's unique features include millenarism, nativism, egalitarianism, metempsychosis, angelology, divine manifestation and dualism. Many of these features are found in Yazidism, another Kurdish faith, in the faith of Zoroastrians and in ghulat (non-mainstream Shia) groups; certainly, the names and religious terminology of the Yarsan are often explicitly of Muslim origin. Unlike other indigenous Persianate faiths, the Yarsan explicitly reject class, caste and rank, which sets them apart from the Yazidis and Zoroastrians.
Yazidism is another syncretic religion practiced among Kurdish communities, founded by Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, an 12th-century mystic from Lebanon. Their numbers exceed 500,000. Its central religious texts are the Kitêba Cilwe and Meshaf Resh
According to Yazidi beliefs, God created the world but left it in the care of a heptad of holy beings or angels. The most prominent angel is Melek Taus (Kurdish: Tawûsê Melek), the Peacock Angel, God's representative on earth. Yazidis believe in the periodic reincarnation of the seven holy beings in human form.
Presently, there are a small number of Zoroastrian Kurds, most of which are recent converts. These communities have established new temples and have been attempting to recruit new members to their faith. The Kurdish philosopher Sohrevardi drew heavily from Zoroastrian teachings.
Judaism is still practised in very small numbers across Kurdistan. There are however some 200,000 Kurdish Jews, residing in Israel. The Jews of Kurdistan migrated to Palestine during the previous centuries but the overwhelming majority of the Kurdish Jews had fled to Israel together with Iraqi Jews in Operation Ezra and Nehemiah during 1950–1952.
The Jews of Kurdistan are thought to be the descendants of those Jews that were deported from Israel by the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BC. These later formed the Kingdom of Adiabene, and, after fading into obscurity in centuries thereafter, reappeared in the Middle Ages, where multiple accounts of them were made. One such account details the story of David Alroy, a Jewish leader from Amadiyah in the 12th century, who revolted against the Persian rulers and was bent on recapturing Jerusalem.
For centuries thereafter, the Jews had lived as protected subjects of the Kurdish tribal chieftains (aghas) and survived in the urban centers and villages in which they lived. According to Mordechai Zaken, the Kurdistani Jews had managed to survive by supporting their tribal chieftains and village aghas in times of need and through financial contributions, occasional gifts, variety of services as well as taxes and dues in the form of commissions of their commercial and agricultural transactions. In return, the tribal Kurdish aghas would protect their Jewish subjects and grant them patronage in the tribal arena. Indeed, some wealthy Jewish merchants and community leaders had to deal at times with aghas who coveted their vineyards or other material goods and satisfy their needs and fulfil their desire. However, in his research, Zaken points out that there was a kind of tribal tradition, passed on from father to son, to keep and protect the Jewish subjects in the village (at times one or two Jewish families in one village) or the tribal arena. Even though the ancestral origins, as well as the mother tongue of the Kurdish Jews is different from the main Kurdish populace, the vast majority regard themselves as Kurds.
Although historically there have been various accounts of Kurdish Christians, most often these were in the form of individuals, and not as communities. However, in the 19th and 20th century various travel logs tell of Kurdish Christian tribes, as well as Kurdish Muslim tribes who had substantial Christan populations living amongst them. A significant number of these were allegedly originally Armenian or Assyrian, and it has been recorded that a small number of Christian traditions have been preserved. Several Christian prayers in Kurdish have been found from earlier centuries.
However, most contemporary Kurdish Christians are recent converts. Both among Turkish and Iraqi Kurds there have been an increasing number of Kurds converting to Christianity. Some communities of the Iraqi converts have formed their own evangelical churches. Prominent historical Kurdish Christians include Theophobos and the brothers Zakare and Ivane.
Kurdish culture is a legacy from the various ancient peoples who shaped modern Kurds and their society. As most other Middle Eastern populations, a high degree of mutual influences between the Kurds and their neighbouring peoples are apparent. Therefore, in Kurdish culture elements of various other cultures are to be seen. However, on the whole, Kurdish culture is closest to that of other Iranian peoples, in particular those who historically had the closest geographical proximity to the Kurds, such as the Persians and Lurs. Kurds, for instance, also celebrate Newroz (March 21) as New Year's Day.
Kurdish men and women participate in mixed-gender dancing during feasts, weddings and other social celebrations. Major Soane, a British colonial officer during World War I, noted that this is unusual among Islamic people and pointed out that in this respect Kurdish culture is more akin to that of eastern Europe than to their West Asian counterparts.
Folklore and Mythology
The Kurds possess a rich tradition of folklore, which, until recent times, was largely transmitted by speech or song, from one generation to the next. Although some of the Kurdish writers’ stories were well-known throughout Kurdistan; most of the stories told and sung were only written down in the 20th and 21st century. Many of these are, allegedly, centuries old.
Widely varying in purpose and style, among the Kurdish folklore one will find stories about nature, anthropomorphic animals, love, heroes and villains, mythological creatures and everyday life. A number of these mythological figures can be found in other cultures, like the Simurgh and Kaveh the Blacksmith in the broader Iranian Mythology, and stories of Shahmaran throughout Anatolia. Additionally, stories can be purely entertaining, or have an educational or religious aspect.
Perhaps the most widely reoccurring element is the fox, which, through cunningness and shrewdness triumphs over less intelligent species, yet often also meets his demise. Another common theme are the origins of a tribe.
Storytellers would perform in front of an audience, sometimes consisting of an entire village. People from outside the region would travel to attend their narratives, and the storytellers themselves would visit other villages to spread their tales. These would thrive especially during winter, where entertainment was hard to find as evenings had to be spent inside.
Coinciding with the heterogeneous Kurdish groupings, although certain stories and elements were commonly found throughout Kurdistan, others were unique to a specific area; depending on the region, religion or dialect. The Kurdish Jews of Zakho are perhaps the best example of this; whose gifted storytellers are known to have been greatly respected throughout the region, thanks to a unique oral tradition. Other examples are the mythology of the Yezidis, and the stories of the Dersim Kurds, which had a substantial Armenian influence.
During the criminalization of the Kurdish language after the coup d’état of 1980, dengbêj (singers) and çîrokbêj (tellers) were silenced, and many of the stories had become endangered. In 1991, the language was decriminalized, yet the now highly available radios and TV’s had as effect a diminished interest in traditional storytelling. However, a number of writers have made great strides in the preservation of these tales.
Kurdish weaving is renowned throughout the world, with fine specimens of both rugs and bags. The most famous Kurdish rugs are those from the Bijar region, in the Kurdistan Province. Because of the unique way in which the Bijar rugs are woven, they are very stout and durable, hence their appellation as the ‘Iron Rugs of Persia’. Exhibiting a wide variety, the Bijar rugs have patterns ranging from floral designs, medallions and animals to other ornaments. They generally have two wefts, and are very colorful in design. With an increased interest in these rugs in the last century, and a lesser need for them to be as sturdy as they were, new Bijar rugs are more refined and delicate in design.
Another well-known Kurdish rug is the Senneh rug, which is regarded as the most sophisticated of the Kurdish rugs. They are especially known for their great knot density and high quality mountain wool. They lend their name from the region of Sanandaj. Throughout other Kurdish regions like Kermanshah, Siirt, Malatya and Bitlis rugs were also woven to great extent.
Kurdish bags are mainly known from the works of one large tribe: the Jaffs, living in the border area between Iran and Iraq. These Jaff bags share the same characteristics of Kurdish rugs; very colorful, stout in design, often with medallion patterns. They were especially popular in the West during the 1920s and 1930s.
Outside of weaving and clothing, there are many other Kurdish handicrafts, which were traditionally often crafted by nomadic Kurdish tribes. These are especially well known in Iran, most notably the crafts from the Kermanshah and Sanandaj regions. Among these crafts are chess boards, talismans, jewelry, ornaments, weaponry, instruments etc.
Kurdish blades include a distinct jambiya, with its characteristic I-shaped hilt, and oblong blade. Generally, these possess double-edged blades, reinforced with a central ridge, a wooden, leather or silver decorated scabbard, and a horn hilt, furthermore they are often still worn decoratively by older men. Swords were made as well. Most of these blades in curcilation stem from the 19th century.
Another distinct form of art from Sanandaj is 'Oroosi', a type of window where stylized wooden pieces are locked into each other, rather than being glued together. These are further decorated with coloured glass, this stems from an old belief that if light passes through a combination of seven colours it helps keep the atmosphere clean.
Among Kurdish Jews a common practice was the making of talismans, which were believed to combat illnesses and protect the wearer from malevolent spirits.
Adorning the body with tattoos (Deq in Kurdish) is widespread among the Kurds; even though permanent tattoos are not permissible in Sunni Islam. Therefore, these traditional tattoos are thought to derive from pre-Islamic times.
Tattoo ink is made by mixing soot with (breast) milk and the poisonous liquid from the gall bladder of an animal. The design is drawn on the skin using a thin twig and is, by needle, penetrated under the skin. These have a wide variety of meanings and purposes, among which are protection against evil or illnesses; beauty enhancement; and the showing of tribal affiliations. Religious symbolism is also common among both traditional and modern Kurdish tattoos. Tattoos are more prevalent among women than among men, and were generally worn on feet, the chin, foreheads and other places of the body.
The popularity of permanent, traditional tattoos has greatly diminished among newer generation of Kurds. However, modern tattoos are becoming more prevalent; and temporary tattoos are still being worn on special occasions (such as henna, the night before a wedding) and as tribute to the cultural heritage.
Music and dance
Traditionally, there are three types of Kurdish classical performers: storytellers (çîrokbêj), minstrels (stranbêj), and bards (dengbêj). No specific music was associated with the Kurdish princely courts. Instead, music performed in night gatherings (şevbihêrk) is considered classical. Several musical forms are found in this genre. Many songs are epic in nature, such as the popular Lawiks, heroic ballads recounting the tales of Kurdish heroes such as Saladin. Heyrans are love ballads usually expressing the melancholy of separation and unfulfilled love, one of the first Kurdish female singers to sing heyrans is Chopy Fatah, while Lawje is a form of religious music and Payizoks are songs performed during the autumn. Love songs, dance music, wedding and other celebratory songs (dîlok/narînk), erotic poetry, and work songs are also popular.
Throughout the Middle East, there are many prominent Kurdish artists. Most famous are Ibrahim Tatlises, Nizamettin Arıç, Ahmet Kaya and the Kamkars. In Europe, well-known artists are Darin Zanyar, Sivan Perwer, and Azad.
The main themes of Kurdish films are the poverty and hardship which ordinary Kurds have to endure. The first films featuring Kurdish culture were actually shot in Armenia. Zare, released in 1927, produced by Hamo Beknazarian, details the story of Zare and her love for the shepherd Seydo, and the difficulties the two experience by the hand of the village elder. In 1948 and 1959, two documentaries were made concerning the Yezidi Kurds in Armenia. These were joint Armenian-Kurdish productions; with H. Koçaryan and Heciye Cindi teaming up for The Kurds of Soviet Armenia, and Ereb Samilov and C. Jamharyan for Kurds of Armenia.
The first critically acclaimed and famous Kurdish films were produced by Yılmaz Güney. Initially a popular, award-winning actor in Turkey with the nickname Çirkin Kral (the Ugly King, after his rough looks), he spent the later part of his career producing socio-critical and politically loaded films. Sürü (1979), Yol (1982) and Duvar (1983) are his best-known works, of which the second won Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival of 1982, the most prestigious award in the world of cinema.
Another prominent Kurdish film director is Bahman Qubadi. His first feature film was A Time for Drunken Horses, released in 2000. It was critically acclaimed, and went on to win multiple awards. Other movies of his would follow this example; making him one of the best known film producers of Iran of today. Recently, he released Rhinos Season, starring Behrouz Vossoughi, Monica Bellucci and Yilmaz Erdogan, detailing the tumultuous life of a Kurdish poet.
Other prominent Kurdish film directors are Mahsun Kırmızıgül, Hiner Saleem and before mentioned Yilmaz Erdogan. There’s also been a number of films set and/or filmed in Kurdistan made by non-Kurdish film directors, such as the Wind Will Carry Us, Triage, The Exorcist, The Market: A Tale of Trade, Durchs wilde Kurdistan (de) and Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen (de).
The most popular sport among the Kurds is football. Because the Kurds have no independent state, they have no representative team in FIFA or the AFC; however a team representing Iraqi Kurdistan has been active in the Viva World Cup since 2008. They became runners-up in 2009 and 2010, before ultimately becoming champion in 2012.
On a national level, the Kurdish clubs of Iraq have achieved success in recent years as well, winning the Iraqi Premier League four times in the last five years. Prominent clubs are Erbil SC, Duhok SC, Sulaymaniyah FC and Zakho FC.
In Turkey, a Kurd named Celal Ibrahim was one of the founders of Galatasaray S.K. in 1905, as well as one of the original players. The most prominent Kurdish-Turkish club is Diyarbakirspor. In the diaspora, the most successful Kurdish club is Dalkurd FF and the most famous player is Eren Derdiyok.
Another prominent sport is wrestling. In Iranian Wrestling, there are three styles originating from Kurdish regions:
- Zhir-o-Bal (a style similar to Greco-Roman wrestling), practised in Kordestan, Kermanshah and Ilam;
- Zouran-Patouleh, practised in Kordestan;
- Zouran-Machkeh, practised in Kordestan as well.
Furthermore, the most accredited of the traditional Iranian wrestling styles, the Bachoukheh, derives its name from a local Khorasani Kurdish costume in which it is practiced.
The traditional Kurdish village has simple houses, made of mud. In most cases with flat, wooden roofs, and, if the village is built on the slope of a mountain, the roof on one house makes for the garden of the house one level higher. However, houses with a beehive-like roof, not unlike those in Harran, are also present.
Over the centuries many Kurdish architectural marvels have been erected, with varying styles. Kurdistan boasts many examples from ancient Iranic, Roman, Greek and Semitic origin, most famous of these include Bisotun and Taq-e Bostan in Kermanshah, Takht-e Soleyman near Takab, Mount Nemrud near Adiyaman and the citadels of Erbil and Diyarbakir.
The first genuinely Kurdish examples extant were built in the 11th century. Those earliest examples consist of the Marwanid Dicle Bridge in Diyarbakir, the Shadaddid Minuchir Mosque in Ani, and the Hisn al Akrad near Homs.
In the 12th and 13th centuries the Ayyubid dynasty constructed many buildings throughout the Middle East, being influenced by their predecessors, the Fatimids, and their rivals, the Crusaders, whilst also developing their own techniques. Furthermore, women of the Ayyubid family took a prominent role in the patronage of new constructions. The Ayyubids’ most famous works are the Halil-ur-Rahman Mosque that surrounds the Pool of Sacred Fish in Urfa, the Citadel of Cairo and most parts of the Citadel of Aleppo. Another important piece of Kurdish architectural heritage from the late 12th/early 13th century is the Yezidi pilgrimage site Lalish, with its trademark conical roofs.
In later periods too, Kurdish rulers and their corresponding dynasties and emirates would leave their mark upon the land in the form mosques, castles and bridges, some of which have decayed, or have been (partly) destroyed in an attempt to erase the Kurdish cultural heritage, such as the White Castle of the Bohtan Emirate. Well-known examples are Hosap Castle of the 17th century, Sherwana Castle of the early 18th century, and the Ellwen Bridge of Khanaqin of the 19th century.
Most famous is the Ishak Pasha Palace of Dogubeyazit, a structure with heavy influences from both Anatolian and Iranic architectural traditions. Construction of the Palace began in 1685, led by Colak Abdi Pasha, a Kurdish bey of the Ottoman Empire, but the building wouldn’t be completed until 1784, by his grandson, Ishak Pasha. Containing almost 100 rooms, including a mosque, dining rooms, dungeons and being heavily decorated by hewn-out ornaments, this Palace has the reputation as being one of the finest pieces of architecture of the Ottoman Period, and of Anatolia.
In recent years, the KRG has been responsible for the renovation of several historical structures, such as Erbil Citadel and the Mudhafaria Minaret.
Three Kurdish children from Bismil Province, Turkey.
Iranian soldiers aided refugee Iraqi Kurds were protest Saddam Hossien and his government during Iran-Iraq War
Kurdish man from Arbil
Portrait of a Kurdish cavalryman by Gigo Gabashvili, 1936.
|Part of a series on
Kurdish history and culture
- Azarbaijani Kurds
- History of the Kurdish people
- Iranian Kurdistan
- Iranian languages
- Iranian peoples
- Iraqi Kurdistan
- Kurdish Christians
- Kurdish Jews
- Kurds in Georgia
- Kurds in Lebanon
- Kurds in Turkey
- Lak people (Iran)
- List of Kurdish dynasties and countries
- List of Kurdish people
- List of Kurdish organisations
- Origins of the Kurds
- Syrian Kurdistan
- Turkish Kurdistan
- Zaza people
Modern Kurdish governments
- Kingdom of Kurdistan 1920
- Republic of Ararat 1927–30
- Republic of Mahabad 1946
- Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) (1991 to date)
Notes and references
- CIA - The World Factbook: 14 million in Turkey (18%), 4.7–6.2 million in Iraq (15–20%), 7.9 million in Iran(10%) (all for 2012), plus several million in Syria, neighboring countries, and the diaspora
- The Kurds: culture and language rights (Kerim Yildiz, Georgina Fryer, Kurdish Human Rights Project; 2004): 18% of Turkey, 20% of Iraq, 8% of Iran, 9.6%+ of Syria; plus 1–2 million in neighboring countries and the diaspora
- Sandra Mackey , “The reckoning: Iraq and the legacy of Saddam”, W.W. Norton and Company, 2002. Excerpt from pg 350: “As much as 25% of Turkey is Kurdish.”
- Kürtlerin nüfusu 11 milyonda İstanbul"da 2 milyon Kürt yaşıyor – Radikal Dizi. Radikal.com.tr. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Studying the Kurds in Syria: Challenges and Opportunities | Lowe | Syrian Studies Association Bulletin. Ojcs.siue.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Henriques, John L. "Syria: issues and historical background". Nova Science Publishers,.
- Gul, Zana Khasraw (22 July 2013). "Where are the Syrian Kurds heading amidst the civil war in Syria?". Open Democracy. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- The cultural situation of the Kurds, A report by Lord Russell-Johnston, Council of Europe, July 2006.
- Ismet Chériff Vanly, “The Kurds in the Soviet Union”, in: Philip G. Kreyenbroek & S. Sperl (eds.), The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview (London: Routledge, 1992). pg 164: Table based on 1990 estimates: Azerbaijan (180,000), Armenia (50,000), Georgia (40,000), Kazakhistan (30,000), Kyrghizistan (20,000), Uzbekistan (10,000), Tajikistan (3,000), Turkmenistan (50,000), Siberia (35,000), Krasnodar (20,000), Other (12,000), Total 450,000
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 г. Национальный состав населения Российской Федерации". Demoscope. Demoscope. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- "Information from the 2011 Armenian National Census". Statistics of Armenia (in Armenian). Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "The Human Rights situation of the Yezidi minority in the Transcaucasus". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. p. 18.
- "Camps built in Germany, Austria to win new members for PKK, reports reveal". Zaman. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Jewish Kurds from Iraq, Syria attend Jerusalem festival". I24 News. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- "QS211EW - Ethnic group (detailed)". nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- "Ethnic Group - Full Detail_QS201NI". Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Scotland's Census 2011 - National Records of Scotland, Language used at home other than English (detailed)". Scotland Census. Scotland Census. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Қазақстан Республикасы Статистика агенттігі. ҚАЗАҚСТАННЫҢ ЭТНОДЕМОГРАФИЯЛЫҚ ЖЫЛНАМАЛЫҒЫ ЭТНОДЕМОГРАФИЧЕСКИЙ ЕЖЕГОДНИК КАЗАХСТАНА 2013
- "Fakta: Kurdere i Danmark". Jyllandsposten (in Danish). 8 May 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Mahmoud A. Al-Khatib and Mohammed N. Al-Ali. "Language and Cultural Shift Among the Kurds of Jordan". p. 12. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Kurds Flee Persecution for 'Sympathetic Shores' of Greece". The Christian Science Monitor. 12 January 1998. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- "2006–2010 American Community Survey Selected Population Tables". Government of the United States of America. Government of the United States of America. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "Population résidante permanente de 15 ans et plus, ayant comme langue principale: kurde, en 2012". Statistics of Switzerland. Statistics of Switzerland. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "4.1. Number of resident population by selected nationality". Government of Kyrgyzstan. United Nations. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "Население Кыргызстана" (in Russian).
- "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Statistics of Canada. Statistics of Canada. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Language according to age and sex by region 1990–2011". Statistics Finland. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "The People of Australia - Statistics from the 2011 census". SBS. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "Итоги всеобщей переписи населения Туркменистана по национальному составу в 1995 году.". asgabat.net (in Russian). asgabat.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Tabelle 14: Bevölkerung nach Umgangssprache, Staatsangehörigkeit und Geburtsland". Statistics of Austria (in German). Statistics of Austria. p. 75. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- D.N. Mackenzie, "The Origin of Kurdish", Transactions of Philological Society, 1961, pp 68–86
- G. Asatrian, Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.13, pp. 1–58, 2009: "Generally, the etymons and primary meanings of tribal names or ethnonyms, as well as place names, are often irrecoverable; Kurd is also an obscurity"
- G. S. Reynolds, A Reflection on Two Qurʾānic Words (Iblīs and Jūdī), with Attention to the Theories of A. Mingana, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 124, No. 4 (October –December , 2004), pp. 675–689. (see p.683, 684 & 687)
- Ilya Gershevitch, William Bayne Fisher, The Cambridge History of Iran: The Median and Achamenian Periods, 964 pp., Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-521-20091-1, ISBN 978-0-521-20091-2, (see footnote of p.257)
- G. Asatrian, Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.13, pp. 1–58, 2009: "Evidently, the most reasonable explanation of this ethnonym must be sought for in its possible connections with the Cyrtii (Cyrtaei) of the Classical authors."
- G. Asatrian, Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.13, pp. 1–58, 2009. Excerpt 1: ""Generally, the etymons and primary meanings of tribal names or ethnonyms, as well as place names, are often irrecoverable; Kurd is also an obscurity" " Excerpt 2: "It is clear that kurt in all the contexts has a distinct social sense, “nomad, tent-dweller”.It could equally be an attribute for any Iranian ethnic group having similar characteristics. To look for a particular ethnic sense here would be a futile exercise." pg 24: "The Pahlavi materials clearly show that kurd in pre-Islamic Iran was a social label, still a long way off from becoming an ethnonym or a term denoting a distinct group of people."
- Bois, Th.; Minorsky, V.; Bois, Th.; Bois, Th.; MacKenzie, D.N.; Bois, Th. "Kurds, Kurdistan." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online Excerpt 1:"The Kurds, an Iranian people of the Near East, live at the junction of more or less laicised Turkey" "We thus find that about the period of the Arab conquest a single ethnic term Kurd (plur. Akra-d ) was beginning to be applied to an amalgamation of Iranian or iranicised tribes."
- McDowall, David. 2000. A modern history of the Kurds. London: I.B. Tauris. p9
- G. Asatrian, Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.13, pp. 1–58, 2009
- Ludwig Paul, "HISTORY OF THE KURDISH LANGUAGE" in Encyclopedia Iranica "Linguistics itself, or dialectology, does not provide any general or straightforward definition of at which point a language becomes a dialect (or vice versa). To attain a fuller understanding of the difficulties and questions that are raised by the issue of the “Kurdish language,” it is therefore necessary to consider also non-linguistic factors."
- "Ludwig Paul, "Kurdish language"". Iranica.com. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Geographic distribution of Kurdish and other Iranic languages
- Sabar, Ariel (2008). My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Sabar states "I am the keeper of my family 's stories. I am the guardian of its honor. I am the defender of its traditions. As the first-born son of a Kurdish father, these, they tell me, are my duties. And yet even before my birth I resisted
- "Kurdish Nationalism and Competing Ethnic Loyalties", Original English version of: "Nationalisme kurde et ethnicités intra-kurdes", Peuples Méditerranéens no. 68–69 (1994), 11–37. Excerpt: "This view was criticised by the linguist D. N. MacKenzie, according to whom there are but few linguistic features that all Kurdish dialects have in common and that are not at the same time found in other Iranian languages."
- G. Asatrian, Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.13, pp. 1–58, 2009: "The classification of the Kurdish dialects is not an easy task, despite the fact that there have been numerous attempts mostly by Kurdish authors to put them into a system. However, for the time being the commonly accepted classification of the Kurdish dialects is that of the late Prof. D. N. Mackenzie, the author of fundamental works in Kurdish dialectology (see Mackenzie 1961; idem 1961–1962; idem 1963a; idem 1981), who distinguished three groups of dialects: Northern, Central, and Southern."
- Kreyenbroek, Philip (1992). "On the Kurdish Language", in The Kurds: a contemporary overview, eds. Philip Kreyenbroek and Stefan Sperl (p. 69).
- The World Factbook. Cia.gov. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- The CIA Factbook reports all non-Arabs make up 9.7% of the Syrian population, and does not break out the Kurdish figure separately. However, the United States State Department's country background notes indicates that the number is 9%.
- Syria. State.gov (2012-10-24). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- "CIA: The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Amir Hassanpour, "A Stateless Nation's Quest for Sovereignty in the Sky" at the Wayback Machine (archived August 20, 2007), Paper presented at the Freie Universitat Berlin, 7 November 1995.
- Izady, Mehrdad R (1992). The Kurds: A concise handbook. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8448-1727-9.
- M. Van Bruinessen, Agha, Shaikh and State, 373 pp., Zed Books, 1992. p.122:"The Kurds are undoubtedly of heterogeneous origins. Many people lived in what is now Kurdistan during the past millennia and almost all of the [sic?] them have disappeared as ethnic or linguistic groups.", p.117: "It is certainly not true that all tribes in Kurdistan have a common origin."
- Excerpt 1: Bois, Th.; Minorsky, V.; Bois, Th.; Bois, Th.; MacKenzie, D. N.; Bois, Th. "Kurds, Kurdistan." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C. E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online "The Kurds, an Iranian people of the Near East, live at the junction of more or less laicised Turkey"..Excerpt 2: "The classification of the Kurds among the Iranian nations is based mainly on linguistic and historical data and does not prejudice the fact there is a complexity of ethnical elements incorporated in them" Excerpt 3: "We thus find that about the period of the Arab conquest a single ethnic term Kurd (plur. Akrād ) was beginning to be applied to an amalgamation of Iranian or iranicised tribes. Among the latter, some were autochthonous (the Ḳardū; the Tmorik̲h̲/Ṭamurāyē in the district of which Alḳī = Elk was the capital; the Χοθα̑ίται [= al-Ḵh̲uwayt̲h̲iyya] in the canton of Ḵh̲oyt of Sāsūn, the Orṭāyē [= al-Arṭān] in the bend of the Euphrates); some were Semites (cf. the popular genealogies of the Kurd tribes) and some probably Armenian (it is said that the Mamakān tribe is of Mamikonian origin)." Excerpt 4: "In the 20th century, the existence of an Iranian non-Kurdish element among the Kurds has been definitely established (the Gūrān-Zāzā group)."
- Windfuhr, Gernot. "Isoglosses: A Sketch on Persians and Parthians, Kurds and Medes" in Hommages et Opera Minora, Monumentum H. S. Nyberg, Vol. 2., Acta Iranica 5. Tehran-Liège: Bibliothèque Pahlavi, 457-472. pg 468. excerpt:"One may add that the overlay of a strong superstrate by a dialect from the eastern parts of Iran does not imply the conclusion that ethnically all Kurdish speakers are from the east, just as one would hesitate to identify the majority of Azarbayjani speakers as ethnic Turks. The majority of those who now speak Kurdish most likely were formerly speakers of Median dialects"
- John Limbert, The Origins and Appearance of the Kurds in Pre-Islamic Iran, Iranian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 1968
- Thomas Bois, The Kurds, 159 pp., 1966. (see p.10)
- Encyclopedia Iranica, "Carduchi" by M. Dandamayev
- Ilya Gershevitch, William Bayne Fisher, The Cambridge History of Iran: The Median and Achamenian Periods, 964 pp., Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-521-20091-1, ISBN 978-0-521-20091-2, (see footnote of p.257)
- P.G. Kreyenbroek, S. Sperl, The Kurds: a contemporary overview, 272 pp., Routledge Publishers, 1991. p.11:"By the time of the Arab Muslim conquests of the seventh century AD, the ethnic term Kurd was being applied to an amalgam of Iranian and Iranicized tribes, some of which may have been indigenous Kardu, but many of which were of Semetic or other ethnic origin."
- D. McDowall, A modern history of the Kurds, 504 pp., I.B. Taris Publishers, 2004. p.9: "The Arab Rawadid tribe, which moved into Kurdistan at the beginning of the Abbasid era (750 CE) was considered to be Kurdish within 200 years, although its Arab origin was well known."
- John Limbert, The Origins and Appearance of the Kurds in Pre-Islamic Iran, Iranian Studies, Vol.1, No.2, Spring 1968, pp. 41–51. p.42: "Some Kurdish tribes have given themselves Arab origins-- Arab tribes would go to the mountains, mingle with foreigners, and forget their mother tongue. These Arab genealogies may have a factual basis when we consider that the Kurds are apparently not homogeneous, but an amalgam of various ethnic elements."
- W. Jwaideh, The Kurdish national movement: its origins and development, 419 pp., Syracuse University Press, 2006. p.11:"Despite the fact that the Kurds speak dialects akin to Persian, they are by no means a purely Iranian people", "The development of the Kurds Iranian character was at first slow and gradual process", "The Iranization of the Zagros and the Taurus mountain ranges was brought about by the appearance of the Medes, the Persians and other Iranian peoples."
- M. Van Bruinessen, The Ethnic Identity of the Kurds, pp. 613–621 in Ethnic groups in Republic of Turkey, ed. by P.A. Andrews and R. Benninghaus, 664 pp., Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1989. p.619:"Karakeçili tribe located in the southwest of Diyarbakir are kurdophone, but according to local tradition they were originally Turkmen from Western Anatolia, who had been settled in this region by Sultan Selim I after the Ottoman conquest. Their process of Kurdification must have been completed before the 18th century, for the descendants of a section of this tribe who moved to Haymana (south of Ankara) around that time also continue to speak Kurdish."
- S. Mutlu, Ethnic Kurds in Turkey, International Journal of Middle East Studies, pp. 517–541, Vol.28, No.4, 1996. p.519:"Some Turkish tribes living among Kurds, such as Karakeçili, Türkan and Beğdili also became Kurdish speakers."
- D. McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds, 515 pp., I.B. Tauris & Co., 2004. p.9: "There can be no doubt that at a later stage certain Arab and Turkoman tribes became Kurdish by culture."
- M. Leezenberg, Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish, Substratum or Prestige Borrowing?, Conference on Bilingualism in the Iranian World, Germany, 1992. "The Shabak as well as Zengana tribes are in fact descendants from the partly Turcoman shia tribes that migrated in the East of Ottoman empire and in Safavid Persia until the 17th century. Zengana traditionally lived southeast of Kirkuk and Khanaqin and they seem to have largely assimilated to their Sorani-speaking neighbors."
- D. McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2004. p. 12 "In the 1940s, a shrinking Armenian but Kurdish-speaking tribe with a tenuous grasp of Christian doctrine was noticed in central Kurdistan, where it was progressively merging with a Kurdish tribe."
- Martin Van Bruinessen, Genocide in Kurdistan?: The Suppression of the Dersim Rebellion In Turkey (1937–38) and the Chemical War Against the Iraqi Kurds (1988) in Genocide: conceptual and historical dimensions, by George J. Andreopoulos, Scholarly Book Services Inc., 2002. p. 166 "Many of the Dersim Kurds are partly of Armenian descent- Dersim used to have a large Armenian population. Even well before the Armenian massacres(1915), many local Armenians voluntarily assimilated, becoming Alevi Kurds".
- Matti Moosa, Extremist Shiites: the ghulat sects, Syracuse University Press, 1987. p. 433 "One of the Kurdish tribes in the province of Sivas is possibly of Armenian origin. The Kizilbash Kurds retain certain Christian practices and sometimes call themselves Christians. There is evidence that some of the Kizilbash Kurds of Dersim came originally from Armenia".
- Edwin Munsell Bliss, Turkey and the Armenian atrocities, Meshag Publishers, California, 1982, p. 89 "Many of the Kurds of that section (Kharput) were originally of Armenian origin."
- Abbas-Ali Madih, The Kurds of Khorasan, Iran and the Caucasus, Vol.11, 2007. p. 14 "Even the presence of a certain Armenian ethnic element in the bulk of the Khorasani Kurds can not be totally excluded. In my field works, while identifying villages in the district of Chenaran (between Quchan and Mashad), for instance, I came across people who were claiming to be of Armenian origin." p. 15 "Even in a superficial skimming of the language of the Khorasani Kurds, a number of important borrowings from Armenian become apparent. In the phonological system of the Khorasani Kurmanji, the Armenian trace is also visible. Also, after winnowing, when the work on the thrashing-floor is over, some groups of the Khorasani Kurds draw a cross-sign on the grain heaps cleaned from the husk, thus rendering homage to an old tradition"
- Mallory, J.P. (1989), In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth, London: Thames & Hudson.
- Antonio Panaino, Sara Circassia, ed. (2006). The scholarly contribution of Ilya Gershevitch to the development of Iranian studies: International Seminar, 11th April 2003, Ravenna (Simorg Series ed.). Mimesis Edizioni. ISBN 88-8483-314-0. See page 71-2.
- Encyclopedia Iranica, "Carduchi" by M. Dandamayev Excerpt: "It has repeatedly been argued that the Carduchi were the ancestors of the Kurds, but the Cyrtii (Kurtioi) mentioned by Polybius, Livy, and Strabo (see MacKenzie, pp. 68–69) are more likely candidates."
- David McDowall, A modern history of the Kurds, 515 pp., I.B.Tauris, 2004, ISBN 1-85043-416-6, ISBN 978-1-85043-416-0 (see p.9)
- Kahn, M. (1980). Children of the Jinn: in Search of the Kurds and their Country. Michigan: Seaview Books, pp. xi.
- Masudi. Les Prairies d’Or. Trans. Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille, 9 vols. Paris: La Société Asiatique, 1861.
- Özoglu, H. (2004). Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries. Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 30.
- Van Bruinessen, M. (2000). Kurdistan in the 16th and 17th centuries, as reflected in Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname. The Journal of Kurdish Studies, 3.1:1-11.
- Kârnâmag î Ardashîr î Babagân. Trans. D. D. P. Sanjana. 1896
- J. Limbert (1968). The Origins and Appearance of the Kurds in Pre-Islamic Iran. Iranian Studies, 1.2: pp. 41-51
- J. Limbert. (1968). The Origins and Appearance of the Kurds in Pre-Islamic Iran. Iranian Studies, 1.2: pp. 41-51.
- G. Asatrian. (2009). Prolegemona to the Study of Kurds. Iran and the Caucasus, 13.1: pp. 1-58.
- "The Seven Great Monarchies, by George Rawlinson, The Seventh Monarchy, Part A". Gutenberg.org. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- Walker, J. T. (2006). The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq. Berkely: University of California Press, pp. 26, 52.
- James, Boris. (2006). Uses and Values of the Term Kurd in Arabic Medieval Literary Sources. Seminar at the American University of Beirut, pp. 6-7.
- James, Boris. (2006). Uses and Values of the Term Kurd in Arabic Medieval Literary Sources. Seminar at the American University of Beirut, pp. 4, 8, 9.
- al-Tabari. The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt. Trans. G. H. A. Juynboll. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989, p. 121.
- T. Bois. (1966). The Kurds. Beirut: Khayat Book & Publishing Company S.A.L., p. 87.
- K. A. Brook. (2009). The Jews of Khazaria. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., p. 184.
- Canard (1986), p. 126
- Kennedy (2004), pp. 266, 269.
- K. M. Ahmed. (2012). The beginnings of ancient Kurdistan (c. 2500-1500 BC) : a historical and cultural synthesis. Leiden University, pp. 502-503.
- A. Peacock (2011) 'SHADDADIDS'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Jamie Stokes, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1, Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8160-7158-6, p. 382.
- M. Gunter, Michael (2011). Historical dictionary of the Kurds. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7507-4.
- C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University Press, 1996), 89.
- K. M. Ahmad (2011) 'ANNAZIDS'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- R. N. Frye - 1975, The Cambridge History of Iran: The period from the Arab Invasion to the Seljuqs, Page 294, Cambridge University Press
- C. Edmund Bosworth (2003) 'HAZĀRASPIDS'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "R. S. Humphreys, "Ayyubids" in Encyclopedia Iranica". Iranica.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- F. Robinson. (1996). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 44.
- F. Daftary, "Intellectual Traditions in Islam", I.B.Tauris, 2001. pg 147: "But the origins of the family of Shaykh Safi al-Din go back not to Hijaz but to Kurdistan, from where, seven generations before him, Firuz Shah Zarin-kulah had migrated to Adharbayjan"
- Barry D. Wood, The Tarikh-i Jahanara in the Chester Beatty Library: an illustrated manuscript of the "Anonymous Histories of Shah Isma'il", Islamic Gallery Project, Asian Department Victoria & Albert Museum London, Routledge, Volume 37, Number 1 / March 2004, Pp: 89 - 107.
- A People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan By Gérard Chaliand, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, Marco Pallis, pg. 205
- "Fifteenth periodic report of States parties due in 1998: Islamic Republic of Iran". Unhchr.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- A fourth pretender was Karim Khan, son of Aymak of the Zand, a section of Lak tribe Sir Percy Molesworth Sykes (1930). A History of Persia. Macmillan and Company, limited. p. 277.
- Album, Stephen (1977). Marsden's Numismata Orientalia Illustrata. Attic Books. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-915018-16-1.
- Kurdish leader, Karim Khan Zand,..., Wadie Jwaideh (2006). The Kurdish National Movement: Its Origins and Development. Syracuse University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8156-3093-7.
- Lokman, I. Meho; Maglaughlin, Kelly L. (2001). Kurdish Culture and Society: An Annotated Bibliography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-313-31543-5.
- ...the bulk of the evidence points to their being one of the northern Lur or Lak tribes, who may originally have been immigrants of Kurdish origin., Peter Avery, William Bayne Fisher, Gavin Hambly, Charles Melville (ed.), The Cambridge History of Iran: From Nadir Shah to the Islamic Republic, Cambridge University Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-521-20095-0, p. 64.
- Jwaideh, Wadie (2006). The Kurdish national movement: its origins and development.
- J. R. Perry (2011) 'KARIM KHAN ZAND'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- P. Oberling (2004) 'KURDISH TRIBES'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Ozoglu, Hakan. Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries. February 2004. ISBN 978-0-7914-5993-5. Pg 95.
- Ozoglu, Hakan. Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries. February 2004. ISBN 978-0-7914-5993-5. Pg 75.
- Laçiner, Bal; Bal, Ihsan (2004). "The Ideological And Historical Roots Of Kurdist Movements In Turkey: Ethnicity Demography, Politics". Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10 (3): 473–504. doi:10.1080/13537110490518282. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
- Natali, Denise (2004). "Ottoman Kurds and emergent Kurdish nationalism". Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 13 (3): 383–387. doi:10.1080/1066992042000300701.
- Fisk, R. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, p.322. Vintage. ISBN 978-1-4000-7517-1
- Dominik J. Schaller, Jürgen Zimmerer, Late Ottoman genocides: the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish population and extermination policies—introduction, Journal of Genocide Research, Vol.10, No.1, p.8, March 2008.
- C. Dahlman, The Political Geography of Kurdistan, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol.43, No.4, 2002, p.279
- Kennedy, J. Michael (17 April 2012). "Kurds Remain on the Sideline of Syria’s Uprising". New York Times. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Minahan, James (2002). Encyclopedia of the stateless nations. 2. D - K (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 1056. ISBN 978-0-313-32110-8. "The fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, the Kurds make up the world's most numerous ethnic group that has, with the exception of northern Iraq, no legal form of self-government."
- Dan Landis, Rosita D. Albert (2012). Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International Perspectives. New York: Springer. p. 243. ISBN 978-1-4614-0447-7. "Many scholars and organizations refer to the Kurds as being one of the largest ethnic groups without a nation-state (Council of Europe, 2006; Izady 1992; MacDonald, 1993; McKeirnan, 1999)."
- Aziz, Mahir (2010). The Kurds of Iraq: Ethnonationalism and National Identity in Iraqi Kurdistan. London: Tauris Academic Studies. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84885-546-5. "The Kurds appear to be the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own."
- Davis, Ben (2002). Let's Go 2003: Turkey. Macmillan. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-312-30597-0. "The 1999 capture and conviction of Kurdish guerilla leader Abdullah Ocalan brought increasing international attention to the Kurds, the largest ethnic group in the world without its own nation."
- Karolides, Nicholas J. (2006). Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds (Rev. ed. ed.). New York: Infobase Pub. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8160-7151-7. "They are a recognizable ethnic community, the “world's largest ethnic group without a state of their own.""
- Bruinessen, Martin (2000). Kurdish Ethno-Nationalism Versus Nation-Building States: Collected Articles. Istanbul: Isis Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-975-428-177-4. OCLC 46851965.
- Radu, Michael (2003). Dangerous Neighborhood: Contemporary Issues in Turkey's Foreign Relations. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7658-0166-1. OCLC 50269670.
- Elling, Rasmus Christian (2013). Minorities in Iran: Nationalism and Ethnicity after Khomeini. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-11584-2. OCLC 714725127.
- Crane, Keith; Lal, Rollie; Martini, Jeffrey (2008). Iran's Political, Demographic, and Economic Vulnerabilities. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8330-4527-0. OCLC 259715774.
- "Thousands of Kurds celebrate New Kurdish Year Newroz in southeastern Turkey". Ekurd.net. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "Ethnologue census of languages in Asian portion of Turkey". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "Turkey - Population". Countrystudies.us. 1994-12-31. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "Linguistic and Ethnic Groups in Turkey". Countrystudies.us. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- H. Hannum, Autonomy, Sovereignty, and Self-determination, 534 pp., University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8122-1572-9, ISBN 978-0-8122-1572-4 (see page 186).
- Reşat Kasaba, The Cambridge History of Turkey, 600 pp., Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-521-62096-1, ISBN 978-0-521-62096-3 (see page 340)
- Reşat Kasaba, The Cambridge History of Turkey, 600 pp., Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-521-62096-1, ISBN 978-0-521-62096-3 (see page 348)
- COUNCIL COMMON POSITION 2008/586/CFSP of 15 July 2008: updating Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism and repealing Common Position 2007/871/CFSP
- Radu, Michael. (2001). "The Rise and Fall of the PKK". Orbis 45 (1): 47–64. doi:10.1016/S0030-4387(00)00057-0.
- "Kurdistan – Turkey: Insurrection". Globalsecurity.org. Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Retrieved 20 October 2010. "One government strategy was the forced evacuation and in a number of instances burning some 850 Kurdish villages to prevent them from harboring PKK insurgents. Although militarily successful, the evacuations have caused great hardship to the villagers. The government was accused of harassment, destruction of villages, and the slaying of Kurds believed to be sympathetic to the PKK. Its tactics resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and turned thousands into refugees, who then crowded into major Turkish cities. The insurgents, in turn, targeted villages known to be sympathetic to the government, murdering state officials, teachers, government collaborators, and paramilitary village guards."
- "Still critical: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey" (PDF). Human Rights Watch (New York: Human Rights Watch) 17 (2(D)): 5–7. March 2005. "The local gendarmerie (soldiers who police rural areas) required villages to show their loyalty by forming platoons of “provisional village guards,” armed, paid, and supervised by the local gendarmerie post. Villagers were faced with a frightening dilemma. They could become village guards and risk being attacked by the PKK or refuse and be forcibly evacuated from their communities. Evacuations were unlawful and violent. Security forces would surround a village using helicopters, armored vehicles, troops, and village guards, and burn stored produce, agricultural equipment, crops, orchards, forests, and livestock. They set fire to houses, often giving the inhabitants no opportunity to retrieve their possessions. During the course of such operations, security forces frequently abused and humiliated villagers, stole their property and cash, and ill-treated or tortured them before herding them onto the roads and away from their former homes. The operations were marked by scores of “disappearances” and extrajudicial executions. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been virtually wiped from the map, and, according to official figures, 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced and left homeless."
- Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds and the future of Turkey, 194 pp., Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. (p.66)
- Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds and the future of Turkey, 194 pp., Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. (pp. 15, 66)
- Bulent Gokay, The Kurdish Question in Turkey: Historical Roots, Dometic Concerns and International Law, in Minorities, Peoples and Self-Determination, Ed. by Nazila Ghanea and Alexandra Xanthaki, 352 pp., Martinus Nijhoff/Brill Publishers, 2005. (p.332)
- "Election results 2009". Secim.haberler.com. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- J. C. Randal, After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?, 356 pp., Westview Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8133-3580-9, p.258
- J. C. Randal, After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?, 356 pp., Westview Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8133-3580-9, p.259
- McLachlan, Keith (December 15, 1989). "Boundaries i. With the Ottoman Empire". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
- Schofield, Richard N. (December 15, 1989). "Boundaries v. With Turkey". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (July 20, 2005). "Kurdish Written Literature". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Kreyenbroek, Philip G.; Sperl, Stefan (1992). The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview. London; New York: Routledge. pp. 17–19. ISBN 978-0-415-07265-6. OCLC 24247652.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-691-05342-4. OCLC 7975938.
- Kreyenbroek, Philip G.; Sperl, Stefan (1992). The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview. London; New York: Routledge. pp. 138–141. ISBN 978-0-415-07265-6. OCLC 24247652.
- Banuazizi, Ali; Weiner, Myron (1986). The State, Religion, and Ethnic Politics: Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-0-8156-2385-4. OCLC 13762196.
- Ashraf, Ahmad (December 15, 2006). "Iranian Identity iv. 19th-20th Centuries". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-691-05342-4. OCLC 7975938.
- Entessar, Nader (2010). Kurdish Politics in the Middle East. Lanham: Lexington Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7391-4039-0. OCLC 430736528.
- Allen, William Edward David; Muratoff, Paul (1953). Caucasian battlefields: A History of the Wars on the Turco-Caucasian border, 1828-1921. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 296. OCLC 1102813.
- Bayat, Kaveh (2003). "Chapter 12: Riza Shah and the Tribes". In Cronin, Stephanie. The Making of Modern Iran: State and Society Under Riza Shah 1921-1941. BIPS Persian Studies Series. London; New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 224–230. ISBN 978-0-203-42314-1. OCLC 54059369.
- Parvin, Nassereddin (December 15, 2006). "Iran-e Kabir". Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Izady, Mehrdad (1992). The Kurds: A Concise Handbook. Washington: Crane Russak. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-8448-1729-3. OCLC 25409394.
- Zabih, Sepehr (December 15, 1992). Communism ii.. in Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Columbia University
- Romano, David (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. Cambridge Middle East studies, 22. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-521-85041-4. OCLC 61425259.
- Chelkowski, Peter J.; Pranger, Robert J. (1988). Ideology and Power in the Middle East: Studies in Honor of George Lenczowski. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-8223-0781-5. OCLC 16923212.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. pp. 217–218. ISBN 978-0-691-05342-4. OCLC 7975938.
- Chubin, Shahram; Zabih, Sepehr (1974). The Foreign Relations of Iran: A Developing State in a Zone of Great-Power Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 39–41, 178. ISBN 978-0-520-02683-4. OCLC 1219525.
- Romano, David (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. Cambridge Middle East studies, 22. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-521-85041-4. OCLC 61425259.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-691-05342-4. OCLC 7975938.
- Yodfat, Aryeh (1984). The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Iran. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-74910-1. OCLC 9282694.
- Katzman, Kenneth (2009). Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security. New York: Nova Science Publishers. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-61470-116-3. OCLC 756496931.
- Habeeb, William Mark; Frankel, Rafael D.; Al-Oraibi, Mina (2012). The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-313-33914-1. OCLC 753913763.
- Howard, Roger (2004). Iran in Crisis?: The Future of the Revolutionary Regime and the US Response. London; New York: Zed Books. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-1-84277-474-8. OCLC 54966573.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (2008). A History of Modern Iran. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-521-52891-7. OCLC 171111098.
- "By Location". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- G.S. Harris, Ethnic Conflict and the Kurds in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, pp. 118–120, 1977
- Introduction. Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds (Human Rights Watch Report, 1993).
- G.S. Harris, Ethnic Conflict and the Kurds in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, p.121, 1977
- M. Farouk-Sluglett, P. Sluglett, J. Stork, Not Quite Armageddon: Impact of the War on Iraq, MERIP Reports, July–September 1984, p.24
- "The Prosecution Witness and Documentary Evidence Phases of the Anfal Trial" (PDF). International Center for Transitional Justice. According to the Chief Prosecutor, Iraqi forces repeatedly used chemical weapons, killed up to 182,000 civilians, forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands more, and almost completely destroyed local infrastructure.
- Security Council Resolution 688, 5 April 1991.
- D. McDowall, A Modern History of The Kurds, I.B. Tauris, 504 pp., 2004.(see pp. 373,375)
- Johnathan C. Randal, After such knowledge, what forgiveness?: my encounters with Kurdistan, Westview Press, 368 pp., 1998.(see pp. 107–108)
- [dead link]
- "FOXNews.com – Kurds Rejoice, But Fighting Continues in North – U.S. & World". Fox News. 2003-04-09.[dead link]
- "– Coalition makes key advances in northern Iraq – April 10, 2003". Cnn.com. 2003-04-10. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Published on Fri April 11 01:00:00 BST 2003. "The Scotsman". Thescotsman.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Full Text of Iraqi Constitution, The Washington Post, October 2005.
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF Annual Report 2009 - Countries of Particular Concern: Iraq, 1 May 2009, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4a4f2735c.html [accessed 11 March 2012]
- "World Gazetteer". Gazetteer.de. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Syria: End persecution of human rights defenders and human rights activists.
- "Syria: The Silenced Kurds". Hrw.org. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Essential Background: Overview of human rights issues in Syria. Human Rights Watch, 31-12-2004.
- Washington, D.C. (2005-09-02). "Syria's Kurds Struggle for Rights". Voanews.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Vinsinfo. "The Media Line". The Media Line. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "Syria to tackle Kurd citizenship problem - Just In (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "Syria: Address Grievances Underlying Kurdish Unrest". Hrw.org. 2004-03-18. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Serhildana 12ê Adarê ya Kurdistana Suriyê.
- Kurds and Kurdistan: A General Background, p.22
- "MP: Failed asylum seekers must go back – Dewsbury Reporter". Dewsburyreporter.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Published on Tue June 12 14:33:59 BST 2007. "'I will not be muzzled' – Malik". Dewsburyreporter.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "UK Polling Report Election Guide: Dewsbury". Ukpollingreport.co.uk. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- "NPT Visits Our Next Door Neighbors in Little Kurdistan, USA". Nashville Public Television. 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Nashville's new nickname: 'Little Kurdistan'". Washington Times. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Interesting Things About Nashville, Tennessee". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "2006-2010 American Community Survey Selected Population Tables". Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Ethnic Origin for the Population of Canada, 2006 Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Detailed Mother Tongue, 2011 Census of Canada". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Van Bruinessen, M. (Religion in Kurdistan). Hum.uu.nl http://www.hum.uu.nl/medewerkers/m.vanbruinessen/publications/Bruinessen_Religion_in_Kurdistan.pdf. Retrieved 7 July 2013. Missing or empty
- "The Kurds and Islam". International Turkey Network. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007.
- https://archive.org/details/jstor-1507112 "The Alevis, or Deifiers of Ali"], Harvard Theological Review, July 1, 1909, pp. 340 et seq. Retrieved from JSTOR, 21 June 2014.
- Martin van Bruinessen, When Haji Bektash Still Bore the Name of Sultan Sahak: Notes on the Ahl-i Haqq of the Guran district, in Alexandre Popovic & Gilles Veinstein (eds), Bektachiyya: études sur l'ordre mystique des Bektachis et les groupes relevant de Hadji Bektach. Istanbul: Éditions Isis, 1995, pp. 117–138.
- MOJAN MEMBRADO, "JEYḤUNĀBĀDI, ḤĀJJ NEʿMAT-ALLĀH MOKRI" in Encyclopedia Iranica. "Ḥājj Neʿmat-Allāh compiled and commented upon the existing material of the Ahl-e Ḥaqq tradition, stating his dismay at how far the Yāresān (i.e., Ahl-e Ḥaqq) had strayed from their core principles, and how those who at one time strove to realize the four pillars of purity, rectitude, self-effacement, and self-abnegation (pāki, rāsti, nisti, redā)
- Hamzeh'ee, M Reza (1990). The Yaresan : a sociological, historical, and religio-historical study of a Kurdish community. Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 138. Berlin: Schwartz. ISBN 3-922968-83-X.
- Yazidis, Encyclopaedia Iranica.
- Rojkan, Nesrin (February 27, 2012). "Kurds Open Zoroastrian Temple in Sweden". Rudaw.net.
- Henry Corbin. The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism. Omega Publications, New York. 1994. ISBN 0-930872-48-7.
- Jewish Subjects and their Tribal Chieftains in Kurdistan: A Study in Survival, By Mordechai Zaken. Published by Brill: • August 2007 • ISBN 978-90-04-16190-0 • Hardback (xxii, 364 pp.) • Jewish Identities in a Changing World, vol. 9
- Ashkenazi, Eli (2012-04-24). "Telling the story of Aramaic-speaking farmers in the Jordan Valley Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- M. Sykes. (1908). The Kurdish Tribes of the Ottoman Empire. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland., vol. 38, pp. 451-486.
- Hervas, L. Saggio. (1787). 'Pratico delle lingue: con prolegomeni, e una raccolta di orazioni dominicali in piu di trecento lingue e dialetti...'. Cesena: Per Gregorio Biasini, pp. 156-157.
- Sevcenko 1968, p. 111: "A converted Kurd, named Nasr and renamed Theophobos in Byzantium, was for a number of years Emperor Theophilus' (829-42) intimate friend and trusted commander."
- Hussey 1966, p. 710: "...with the Kurd Naşr (known to the Byzantines as Theophobus)..."
- Alexei Lidov, 1991, The mural paintings of Akhtala, p. 14, Nauka Publishers, Central Dept. of Oriental Literature, University of Michigan, ISBN 5-02-017569-2, ISBN 978-5-02-017569-3, It is clear from the account of these Armenian historians that Ivane's great grandfather broke away from the Kurdish tribe of Babir
- Vladimir Minorsky, 1953, Studies in Caucasian History, p. 102, CUP Archive, ISBN 0-521-05735-3, ISBN 978-0-521-05735-6, According to a tradition which has every reason to be true, their ancestors were Mesopotamian Kurds of the tribe (xel) Babirakan.
- Richard Barrie Dobson, 2000, Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages: A-J, p. 107, Editions du Cerf, University of Michigan, ISBN 0-227-67931-8, ISBN 978-0-227-67931-9, under the Christianized Kurdish dynasty of Zak'arids they tried to re-establish nazarar system...
- "Iraqi Kurds". culturalorientation.net. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006.
- W. Juwaideh, The Kurdish national movement: its origins and development, 419 pp., Syracuse University Press, 2006.(see p.41),
- Edgecomb, D. (2007). A Fire in My Heart: Kurdish Tales. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, pp. 200.
- D. Shai (2008) 'Changes in the oral tradition among the Jews of Kurdistan'.Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- C. Alison (2006) 'YAZIDIS i. GENERAL'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- V. Arakelova. 'SHAHNAMEH IN THE KURDISH AND ARMENIAN ORAL TRADITION'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- The Guardian. 'Silenced Kurdish storytellers sing again' Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- J. D. Winitz 'Kurdish Rugs'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- W. Eagleton. (1989). The Emergence of a Kurdish Rug Type. Oriental Rug Review 9.5.
- M. Hopkins. (1989). Diamonds in the Pile. Oriental Rug Review 9.5.
- "Immigration Museum (2010) Survival of a culture: Kurds in Australia" (PDF). Museumvictoria.com.au. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- W. Floor (2011) 'ḴĀLKUBI'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- IMDB 'Zare (1927)' Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- R. Alakom 'The first film about Kurds'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- DVD ~ Yilmaz Güney. "Yol (1982)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- IMDB 'Bahman Ghobadi's Awards'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- FIFA 'Eren Derdiyok's Profile'
- Pahlevani Research Institute 'The Way of Traditional Persian Wrestling Styles' Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Kürt'üm, ay yıldızlı bayrağı gururla taşıyorum - Milliyet Haber". Gundem.milliyet.com.tr. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- "Misha Aloyan wants to change his name - Armenian News". Tert.am. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- Sim, Steven. "The mosque of Minuchihr". VirtualANI. Archived from the original on January 20, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
- Kennedy 1994, p. 20
- Peterson, 1996, p.26.
- Necipoğlu, 1994, pp.35-36.
- Harry Ades, A Traveller's History of Egypt, Arris Publishing Ltd. 2007 ISBN 1-905214-01-4 p226
- Gonnella, Julia (2008), The Citadel of Aleppo: Description, History, Site Plan and Visitor Tour (Guidebook), Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums, ISBN 978-2-940212-02-6
- Verity Campbell - Turkey - 2007 - 724 pages, page 643, ISBN 1-74104-556-8
- Lonely Planet (2012) 'Ishak Pasha Palace'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Institut kurde de Paris (2011) 'THE RESTORATION OF ISHAQ PASHA’S PALACE WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2013'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- UNESCO Office for Iraq (2007) 'Revitalization Project of Erbil Citadel'. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Barth, F. 1953. Principles of Social Organization in Southern Kurdistan. Bulletin of the University Ethnographic Museum 7. Oslo.
- Hansen, H.H. 1961. The Kurdish Woman's Life. Copenhagen. Ethnographic Museum Record 7:1–213.
- Leach, E.R. 1938. Social and Economic Organization of the Rowanduz Kurds. London School of Economics Monographs on Social Anthropology 3:1–74.
- Longrigg, S.H. 1953. Iraq, 1900–1950. London.
- Masters, W.M. 1953. Rowanduz. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan.
- McKiernan, Kevin. 2006. The Kurds, a People in Search of Their Homeland. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-92546-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kurds.|
- Kurds and Kurdistan, Encyclopaedia of Islam.
- Kurds, Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Kurd, Encyclopædia Britannica.
- The Kurds: People without a country, Encyclopædia Britannica.
- The Kurdish Institute of Paris Kurdish language, history, books and latest news articles.
- The Encyclopaedia of Kurdistan
- Istanbul Kurdish Institute
- The Kurdish Center of International Pen
- Kurdish Library, supported by the Swedish Government.
- Yazidism: Historical Roots, International Journal of Kurdish Studies, January 2005.
- Ethnic Cleansing and the Kurds
- The Kurds in the Ottoman Hungary by Zurab Aloian
- "The Other Iraq" Kurdish Information Website
- The Kurdish Issue in Turkey
- A report on the Kurdish IDP's – 2005
- A German newspaper's take on the Kurdish issue – 2005
- The Guardian – What's in a name? Too much in Turkey – 2001
- McKiernan, Kevin (March–April 1999). "Turkey's war on the Kurds". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) 55 (2): 26–37. doi:10.2968/055002008. Retrieved 2009-08-04.