From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Osmanli Ortadogu.jpg

Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural region in Western Asia 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 portion of northeastern Syria inhabited by Kurds- however Syrian Arabs are still the majority. 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.

Selected article

Flag of Kurdistan.svg
The Flag of Kurdistan first appeared during the Kurdish independence movement from the Ottoman Empire. The Kurdish flag with the Red, Yellow, Green and White with sun disk of 21 rays is currently used as the official flag of the autonomous Kurdistan Region in Iraq, which is under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The flag is banned in Turkey, Iran and Syria.

The main characteristic of the flag is the blazing golden sun emblem at the center, supposedly representing wisdom in Zoroastrianism and Yezidi religion. The sun disk of the emblem has 21 rays, equal in size and shape. The number 21 holds importance in the ancient Yazdani religious traditions of the Kurds.

Selected biography

Jalal Talabani 2005-09-09.jpg
Jalal Talabani (born 12 November 1933) is a leading Kurdish politician who served as the sixth President of Iraq from 2005 to 2014. He was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Karim Qasim was of partial Kurdish heritage. He is known as "Mam Jalal" meaning "uncle Jalal" among Kurdish people.

Talabani is the founder and has been secretary general of one of the main Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He was a prominent member of the Interim Iraq Governing Council, which was established following the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Talabani has been an advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy in Iraq for more than 50 years. Apart from his native Kurdish, Talabani is fluent in Arabic, Persian, and English. Talabani is a member of the Socialist International.

Selected picture

Kurdish Smugglers Iraq.jpg
Credit: James Gordon
Iraqi Kurdish smugglers near the Iraq-Iran border


Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories


Things you can do

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides