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Kurdification is a cultural change in which something ethnically non-Kurdish is made to become Kurdish, usually in contexts of post-Saddam Iraq, in particular in relation to Assyrian Christians, Iraqi Turkmen, Shabak people and the ethno-religious group of the Yazidis.[1][2][3] [4]

The term is mainly used for the implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution which ensured to restrore the situation before Saddams assimilation and deportation policies.

Some Yazidis expressed concern over forced assimilation into Kurdish culture and identity. Some have accused the Kurdish parties of diverting US $12 million reconstruction funds allocated for Yazidi areas in Jebel Sinjar to a Kurdish village and marginalizing them politically.[5]

In addition to the Kurdish-speaking majority, there are significant Yazidi communities that speak Arabic as their native language.[6]

“The goal of these tactics is to push Shabak and Yazidi communities to identify as ethnic Kurds. The Kurdish authorities are working hard to impose Kurdish identity on two of the most vulnerable minorities in Iraq, the Yazidis and the Shabaks." A report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), in 2009[7]

The United Nations recognizes the Yazidis as a distinct ethnic group.[8]

A quote from a lawyer Kuryo Meytap in an interview:

"The policy of Kurdification is operated for decades. The Assyrian history is systematically distorted, many Assyrian villages still be kept busy, the names of the Assyrian cities and villages are specifically converted into Kurdish."[9]

See also[edit]


  • A. Bazzaz, turkmen.nl "The Kurdification procedure was soon implemented by the Kurdish leadership after toppling Saddam down in April 2003"
  • Park, Bill, The Kurds and post-Saddam political arrangements in Iraq The Adelphi Papers (2005), Taylor & Francis: "The Kurds, who are intent on the further ‘Kurdification’ of Kirkuk before any census is held"
  • Park, Bill, Iraqi scenarios, The Adelphi Papers, Volume 45, Number 374, May 2005, pp. 49–66
  • PKK Iran - Strategic Comments, 2004 - informaworld.com "recent months Turkish intelligence has begun to report Turcoman frustration with Ankara’s failure to prevent the increasing ‘Kurdification’ of northern Iraq"