The Kurds are an ethnic group of about 30 million people native to a stateless region that straddles the borders of northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, western Armenia, and southeastern Turkey.
While the Kurds have never obtained a permanent nation-state in this region, the region is still referred to as Kurdistan. This is very loosely similar to the original 13 colonies and New England, however, this clearly is not a great comparison because there are no territorial conflicts (that I know of) between New Englanders and the states that make up New England.
After World War I ended, the victorious Western-allied powers created a provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres. However, the plan didn’t pan out when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed three years later which set the boundaries for modern-day Turkey essentially leaving the Kurds to live in a state of limbo. This has led to the Kurds being outcasts in the countries they territorially live in even though many don’t feel an allegiance to these countries. Some Kurds are even considered terrorists by the countries they reside in.
Over the decades, many attempts have been made to create an independent Kurdish nation-state, however, all have failed for one reason or another. This conflict has resulted in violent conflicts over the last 100 years, including the current situation with Turkey.
- Most Kurds speak multiple languages
- The Kurds account for 1/5th of Turkey’s population.
- Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, however, many religions exist in their culture such as Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, and Judaism.