Portal:Kurdistan

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Kurdistan

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Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural region wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population, and Kurdish culture, language, and national identity have historically been based. Contemporary use of Kurdistan refers to large parts of eastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Iranian Kurdistan), northerneastern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), and a smaller part in northeastern Syria (Rojava) inhabited mainly by Kurds. Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges.

Some Kurdish nationalist organizations seek to create an independent nation state of Kurdistan, consisting of some or all of the areas with Kurdish majority, while others campaign for greater Kurdish autonomy within the existing national boundaries. Iraqi Kurdistan first gained autonomous status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, and its status was re-confirmed as an autonomous entity within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005. There is a province by the name Kurdistan in Iran; it is not self-ruled. Kurds fighting in the Syrian Civil War were able to take control of large sections of northeast Syria as forces loyal to al-Assad withdrew to fight elsewhere. Having established their own government, some Kurds called for autonomy in a democratic Syria; others hoped to establish an independent Kurdistan.

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The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is an Iraqi-Kurdish political party in Iraqi Kurdistan. The PUK was founded on May 22, 1975, by coordination between Jalal Talabani, Nawshirwan Mustafa, Ali Askari, Fuad Masum, Adil Murad, and Abdul Razaq Faily. Talabani, a former student leader, lawyer, journalist and resistance leader, has been the Secretary General of the PUK since its founding in 1975. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan describes its goals as self-determination, human rights, and democracy and peace for the Kurdish people of Kurdistan and Iraq. Fuad Masum is the current president of Iraq. The current Deputy Secretary General is Kosrat Rasul Ali.

Selected biography

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Leyla Zana (born May 3, 1961), is a Kurdish politician, who was imprisoned for 10 years for her political activism, which was deemed by the Turkish courts to be against the unity of the country. When she was a member of pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, she was banned from joining any political party for five years with the Constitutional Court's decision to ban this party. She has been elected as an independent member of parliament for Diyarbakır by the support of Peace and Democracy Party.

She was awarded the 1995 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, but was unable to collect it until her release in 2004. She was also awarded the Rafto Prize in 1994 after being recognized by the Rafto Foundation for being incarcerated for her peaceful struggle for the human rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey and the neighbouring countries.

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