Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria

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Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria
Leader Saud Malla[1]
Founded 1957 (In Syria)
Headquarters Currently in Western Europe and the United States
Ideology Kurdish nationalism
Kurdish autonomy
Liberal democracy
Political position Centre
National affiliation Kurdish National Council[2]
Politics of Syria
Political parties

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (Kurdish: Partiya Demokrat a Kurdistanê li Sûriyê Kurdish: پارتی دیموکراتی کوردستان سووری‎; Arabic: حزب الديمقراطي کوردستان في سورياHizb Al-Dimuqrati Kurdistan fi Suriya), commonly known as KDPS, is a Kurdish Syrian political party founded in 1957 by Kurdish nationalists in northern Syria. It is banned in Syria because the constitution states that political parties cannot be founded on ethnic, religious, regional and tribal basis. The party is based in Hamburg, Germany and has various branches in France, United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America.


Osman Sabri and Daham Miro along with some Kurdish politicians, founded the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDPS) in 1957. The objectives of KDPS were promotion of Kurdish cultural rights, economic progress and democratic change. KDPS was never legally recognized by the Syrian state and remains an underground organization, especially after a crackdown in 1960 during which several of its leaders were arrested, charged with separatism and imprisoned. After the failure of Syrian political union with Egypt in 1961, Syria was declared an Arab Republic in the interim constitution, during the parliamentary elections of 1961 the KDPS gained no seats on Syrian Parliament. On 23 August 1962, the government conducted a special population census only for the province of Jazira which was predominantly Kurdish. As a result, around 120,000 Kurds in Jazira were arbitrarily categorized as aliens. In fact, the inhabitants had Syrian identity cards and were told to hand them over to the administration for renewal. However those Kurds who submitted their cards received nothing in return. A media campaign was launched against the Kurds with slogans such as Save Arabism in Jazira! and Fight the Kurdish threat!. These policies coincided with the beginning of Barzani's uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan and discovery of oilfields in the Kurdish inhabited areas of Syria. In June 1963, Syria took part in the Iraqi military campaign against the Kurds by providing aircraft, armoured vehicles and a force of 6,000 soldiers. Syrian troops crossed the Iraqi border and moved into Kurdish town of Zakho in pursuit of Barzani's fighters[3]

KDPS went through several divisions in the 1960s. Mustafa Barzani (The father of Massoud Barzani the current president of Iraqi Kurdistan) attempted to reunify the party by inviting all the fractions in 1970 to Iraqi Kurdistan. During the meetings Miro was Chosen and later re-elected in 1972 as the chairman of KDPS.

The KDPS did not join the Syrian National Council at first, Secretary-General Abdulhakim Bashar seeing this body as too influenced by the country of Turkey. He demands guarantees for the Kurdish population in Syria by the SNC and says that Turkey would, in turn, be obliged to grant full rights to Turkey's Kurdish population.[4] However, the KDP-S later led the Kurdish National Council to join the SNC following disputes with the dominant Kurdish party in Syria, the PYD. The Kurdish Azadi Party and three other parties merged into the KDP-S in early April 2014.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (al-Parti)". Carnegie Middle East Center. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Kurdish National Council in Syria". Carnegie Middle East Center. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  3. ^ I. C. Vanly, The Kurds in Syria and Lebanon, In The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview, Edited by P.G. Kreyenbroek, S. Sperl, Chapter 8, Routledge, 1992, ISBN 0415072654, pp.151-2
  4. ^ "Syrian Kurd Leader: Revolution Won't Succeed Without Minorities". The Atlantic. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "‘PYD political thought resembles that of Baath Party’: Kurdish politician". ARA News. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 

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