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.