The Kurdistan (meaning “Kurdish Country of the literally S”; in Kurdish: Kurdewarî , in the past transcribed Koordistan, Curdistan, Kurdie ) is a geographical and cultural area of Occidental Asia, mainly populated by the Kurdish . This area currently extends to the mountainous borders in south-east from the Turkey, in the North-East of the Iraq, the North-West of the Iran and on two small areas in the North-East and the North-West of the Syria.
EtymologyThe area of Kurdistan is known by several terms connected with the Kurdish word during Antiquity. The Sumériens called it Kur-a , Gutium or the country of Karda , the Élam ites Kurdasu , the Akkadien S Kurtei , the Assyrie NS Kurti , the Babylonian Qardu , the Greek Carduchoi and the Romains Corduene .
One of the first appearances of the term Kurdistan in the history is due to the Sultan Sanjar. This king seldjoukide created in 1150 a province called Kurdistan . This province was located between the Azerbaïdjan and the Lorestan; it included/understood the areas of Hamedan, Dinavar, Kermanshah and Sinneh on the side is Zagros and extended until Kirkuk and to Khuftiyan, on the Petit Zab.
GeographyKurdistan is a mountainous region and high plateaus of Central Asia. The estimates of the surface of Kurdistan are varied: the Encyclopædia Britannica quotes 191.660 km ², Jacques Leclerc speaks about 350.000 km ² and the observatory free-Kurdish of 500.000 km ². The territory of Kurdistan extends from Turkey in the west as far as Iran (Persian Gulf) while passing by Iraq and Syria, with some small islands of Kurdish settlements in Arménie, Georgia, Azerbaïdjan, Turkménistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The climate dominating in Kurdistan is the continental climate, with Mediterranean influences.
The coldest areas are located at the north of Kurdistan, in Anatolia. These areas where the average annual temperature is lower than 0°C constitute approximately 5% of the territory of Kurdistan. The areas whose average annual temperature is between 0 and 5°C are located in the north and the North-West of Kurdistan, in Turkey, in Iraq and Iran. These areas account for 15% of the territory of Kurdistan. The remainder of Kurdistan of north, as well as is territory, has average annual temperatures between 5 and 10°C, and accounts for approximately 20% of Kurdistan. The zone where the average temperatures annual lie between 10 and 15°C account for approximately 40% of Kurdistan, in the south and the west of Kurdistan. The hottest zone, where the average annual temperatures lie between 15 and 20°C, is located at the west of Kurdistan (Syria and mid-west of Iraqi Kurdistan). One can subdivide Kurdistan in 5 areas, divisions made on bases historical, socio-economic, cultural and political. All the dialects of the Kurd are spoken in this area, thus creating bonds between this central area and all the other areas of Kurdistan.
The Western Kurdistan is physically isolated from the remainder of Kurdistan by the mountains and the not very hospital territory which separates Western Kurdistan from Kurdistan of north. This area is historically turned towards the Mediterranean world. The speakers of the dialects Kurmanci of north and Dimili are also divided. Syrian Kurdistan is located at the north and the North-East of the country, covering part of the province of Al Hasakah; Kurd regions being grouped around the towns of Al-Qamishli (or Kurdish Qamişlû in ) and of Al Hasakah (or Kurdish Hesakah in ). The Kurd regions in Syria are called Kurdish Kurdistana Binxetê in .
The mountainous region in the south and the south-east of the Lake Van, between Persian and Mésopotamie, was in possession of the Kurdish before the time of Xénophon, and was known under the name of “country of Carduchi” by the Greeks (in Greek Καρδούχοι ), Cardyène or Cordyène.
To the maximum of their projection in the Middle East, the Romains dominated of the areas inhabited by Kurds, particularly in the west and north of what will become Kurdistan. The kingdom of Corduène was for example vassal Roman Empire between 66 av. J. - C. and 384.
Some of the old territories corresponding to current Kurdistan and their modern names are given hereafter:
- Sophène (Amed or Diyarbakır)
- Zabdicène or Bezabde ( Gozarto d' Qardu or Jazirat Ibn Umar or Cizre)
- Basenia (Bayazid)
- Moxoène (Muş)
- Nephercerta ( Miyafarkin )
- Artemita (Van)
In second half of the 10th century, Kurdistan was divided into four great Kurdish principalities. In north, Chaddadites, (951 - 1174), in the east, the Hasanwayhides (959 - 1015) and the Banû Ass (990 - 1116) and in the west the Marwanides (990 - 1096) of Diyarbakir. These principalities are annexed by the people of Central Asia during their conquests, and are integrated into the territories controlled by the Seldjoukides. The sultan Sandjar, the last large sovereign seldjoukide, creates in 1150 a province called Kurdistan, whose capital is Bahār, close to Hamadan. This province is located rather at the south of Kurdistan since it includes the territories of Sindjar and Chehrizor in the west of the Zagros and of Hamadan, Dinavar and Kermanshah in the east of this mountainous chain.
A few years after the foundation of this province, in 1171, Saladin, resulting from the dynasty of the Ayyoubides, Kurdish origin, reverses the caliphs Fatimides and seizes the power with the title of Sultan. Kurdistan loses any characteristic then and is integrated into the caliphate, including the Egypt, the Syria, Kurdistan and the Yemen.
After the turco-Mongolian invasions, Kurdistan finds part of its autonomy, but is however not a plain territory. The territory inhabited by Kurdish is parcelled out in a series of small states called emirate S. a history of these states, their relations between them and with their Persan neighbors and Turkish is given in the Sharafnāma of prince Charaf AD-DIN Bitlisi, which is regarded as a historical work of reference on Kurdish.
In 1920, the Traité of Sevres envisaged the creation of a Kurdish State on the remainders of the Ottoman Empire destroyed, as for the other people of the area. But by the treated of Lausanne of 1923, the the Middle East is divided into several countries which do not take into account the right of the Kurds to have their grounds. The the United Kingdom and the France are seen entrusting mandates on the new States: on the Iraq for the first, the Syria and the Lebanon for the second. The populations, in particular Kurdish, will not be long in revolting against the new European domination.
Churchill, secretary with the War with the the United Kingdom, makes shave by the different Royal Air Force cities and Kurdish villages. In 1925, a chemical weapon, the Yperite, is used on the Kurdish city of Souleimaniye. Two thirds of the population are reached by the effects of gas.
Just after the second world war, Kurdish of Iran proclaims a independent Kurdish republic with Mahabad between 1946 and 1947.
Fifty years later, the March 11th 1974, Saddam Hussein grants an autonomy relating to Kurdistan, with the “Law for autonomy in the surface of Kurdistan” which stipulates in particular that “the Kurdish language must be the official language for the education of the Kurds”. This law allows also the election of an autonomous legislative council which controls his own budget. However 72 of the 80 elected members of this council of the first session of October 1974 were selected by Baghdad. In October 1977, the totality of the council is chosen by the mode.
The relations with the Kurds of Iraq are degraded considerably thereafter. The April 16th 1987, Saddam Hussein lance a raid with the chemical weapon on the Valley of Balisan. During the operation “Anfal”, 182 000 people perish in chemical bombardments. In December 2005, a court of $the Hague qualified this countryside of “genocide”. June 24th, 2007, the Iraqi penal Court condemned Ali Hassan Al Madjid, called “Ali the chemical one”, and two other old dignitaries of the mode of Saddam Hussein, with the death penalty by hanging for the Génocide made against the Kurds during this Anfal operation.
Kurdistan became since the beginning of the century an intense zone of conflict implying the various countries bordering, but also the the United States since the beginning of the conflict with the Iraq in 1991. This situation involved an increase in the Kurdish emigration towards the countries of the area or the Europe.
DemographyThe Iraqi part is populated by 4 or 5 million Kurds of Kurdistan of Iraq. The Syrian part of Kurdistan is populated by approximately 3 million Kurds. The Turkish part of Kurdistan would be populated by 12 to 25 million Kurds according to the sources. In Iran, the Kurds account for 7% of the population, and are mainly concentrated in the North-West of the country.
Other communities apart from Kurdistan:
- the rural migration and a seasonal nomadism touches the Kurdish populations of Kurdistan because of the conflicts in their area.
- Of the Kurds is also present in Arménie, Georgia, Azerbaïdjan, and in the North-East of the Iran.
- Three million Kurds would have emigrated in Europe.
- Of other Kurdish communities is also present at the the United States, the Canada and in Australia.
Kurdish nationalism exists and remains long-lived. The claims with the autonomy of the Kurds were modelled by the history of Kurdistan and the Kurds. It is only after the First World War that form the idea of large independent Kurdistan takes, and the means to achieve this goal will oscillate thereafter between the diplomacy and the insurrection.
With the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the authorities prohibit the Kurdish language and family names. To speak the Kurdish language is a crime which is punished of a custodial sentence. The “Kurdish” word itself is prohibited and the Kurds are designated by the expression “Turks of the mountains” by politicians. Vis-a-vis this negation of the Kurdish fact and Kurdish identity, the Kurds raised themselves on several occasions. Risings were violently repressed by the Turkish army.
Last rising goes back to it against Turkey is the fact of the Parti the workers of Kurdistan (PKK). This rising which takes the shape of a guerilla begins in 1984. Since the arrest and the judgment of prison with perpetuity of the chief of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, called Apo by Kurdish meaning uncle, in 1999 with the Kenya, the confrontations decreased by intensity, with in particular the fold of the troops of the PKK towards Kurdistan of the East (or Iranian Kurdistan) and Kurdistan of the South (Iraqi Kurdistan). On the whole, the war made more 37 000 died in the area.
The transformation of the PKK into Congress for freedom and the democracy in Kurdistan and the stop of the armed struggle are parallel to the process of democratization engaged in Turkey with an aim of adhering to the European Union. Although the state of emergency was raised to Kurdistan, the situation of the Kurds did not develop much. Tens of Kurdish thousands of militants are in prison. The thousands of moved during the repression of the years 1990 are not authorized to regain their villages. The political assassinations and summary executions of militants or Kurdish civilians continue. The existence of the Kurdish people is still not recognized by the Turkish Constitution. Indeed, the Turkish law envisages simply the teaching of the “dialects” Turkish in progress private of the evening for adults.
According to the Turkish authorities, there would be approximately 12 million Kurdish in Kurdistan of Turkey (called “south-east of Turkey” by certain Turkish sources). According to other sources, the Kurds of Turkey constitute half of the Kurds of the Middle East, that is to say 20 to 25 million individuals.
See also: Iraqi Kurdistan
The Kurds knew massacres and crimes of mass (for example repression after the treaty of Algiers and Halabja 5000 died in only a few minutes). But it is as in this same Iraq of Hussein as the Kurdish language is officialized and the area of Iraqi Kurdistan reaches autonomy
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