The student news site of Rye High School in Rye, New York

Kurdistan

Kurdistan is a mountainous region in the Middle East that includes parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The Kurds have their own languages and culture, but people belonging to one of several different religions including Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Christianity.  There are four geographical areas of Kurdistan: northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northern Syria. The Kurds are an ethnic group of people of 40 million people which makes them one of the largest communities in the Middle East.   

The Kurdish people as an ethnic and cultural society came into being in the tenth and eleventh centuries.  Since the end of World War I, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurdish people have wished for an independent nation-state.  However, the governments of the four countries where the Kurds live are against the existence of a nation of Kurdistan. In Syria, the law is that if any Kurd who was to fight for independence, would lose their Syrian citizenship and be thrown into jail. In Turkey, the Kurds are isolated by the government.  The Iran and Iraqi government’s positions are the same: serious punishments will be inflicted on any Kurd who would plot against the government. 

 In March 2011, a Syrian civil war erupted in the southern city of Deraa.  A group of Syrian people demanded political freedom, as well as the eradication of corruption and high unemployment: protests grew and the Syrian government attacked them.  Since 2011, there has been a horrific civil war going on between the Syrian Arab Republic and their dictator, President Bashar Al-Assad. Taking advantage of the violence and chaos, the Kurds saw this war as an opportunity to reach out to more people to help them gain their autonomy.  With the Syrian civil war and the Kurds fighting for their own independent state, Kurds fought with American military aid against the terrorist group ISIS.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq in September 2017 The recognized territory of Kurdistan Region ( red ) The disputed territory for the Kurdistan Region ( pink)  Rest of Iraq ( white)

 

In September 2017, there was a poll in Iraq to see how many people would vote for their own independence. According to the electoral commissioner, Hendrin Mohammed, there were 4.5 million voters and out of this number, there was 92.73 % of Iraqi Kurds who voted “yes” in response to the following question: “ Do you want the Kurdistan Region and areas outside the administration of the region to become an independent state?” However, the region of Kurdistan didn’t have any support from the other International community for this, which led to a resignation of Kurdistan leaders and a decrease in the Kurdistan community. There were constant disagreements and political interests among the Kurds which made the process slower. 

In 2019, Kurdistan continues to fight for their own nation, and will likely not stop for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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