Who Are The Kurds and What They Have Been Through?

Three days ago while I was tweeting about the prosperity of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, a lady from Australia sent me a message asking ” Would you please explain who are exactly the Kurds? And why do they live in different parts? “  .

Even though I’m humanitarian and I don’t believe in nationality, but I do believe in the necessity of clarifying who are the Kurds, and what they’ve been through.
Mr. Abdulkarim Uzeri beautifully wrote a short history about Kurds and their tragedies which I used what he wrote as a reference, but I’ll focus more on the Kurdistan region of Iraq only because I live in this part and I’m quite familiar with its history.


Kurds are unique ethnic group different from Persian, Turks and Arabs. They speak their own indo-European language (Kurdish). Kurds live in their own traditional homeland know as Kurdistan. Their homeland is divided among occupied states of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Also non of these states ever made a proper statistics to know what the population of Kurds are but the number must be over 30 million inhabitants.

What They Have been through ?

Turkey occupies the largest portion of Kurdistan. The citizens of Kurdish origin live under Turks oppression for long centuries. Their language is forbidden and their culture is never respected. Turks, today say there are no Kurds in Turkey, tomorrow they are primitive mountainous Turks, the other day they are a group of bandits. The consecutive governments of Turkey have signed most of the treaties that respect the human rights but in fact they violate all of them. All these and the Turks classify themselves as seculars and best democrats of the whole region.

Iran is not prepared to grant their Kurdish population the constitutional rights. Instead they murder the Kurdish leaders wherever they are.

Syria, ruled by the Ba’ath party had started the same of eradicating of the Kurdish population even earlier than their partner in Iraq, but they do it with less noise. Due to the current uprising in Syria, the future is unpredictable but Kurds are always optimistic.

The most barbarian occupying regime among all is (or was) Iraq. The unfair treatment of the Kurdish people of Iraq started in 1920 by the Britain. For many geopolitical and economic interests they robbed of their right of self-determination rule  and annexation of  their land to the newly established Pro-British Iraqi Government in Baghdad violating Sever Treaty Found by British and French governments and  Kurds were regarded as Iraqi citizens.

No doubt the most tragic suffering of the Kurdish people came from the Arab Chauvinist Ba’ath Party. They first came to power in 1963. In June of that year, General Sdik Mustafa carried out a mass killing campaign against the civilian inhabitants of Slemani (Sulaimaniyah) city. Few months later that party was toppled by another military coup. However, they managed to come to rule Baghdad once more in 1968.

Saddam Hussein was the most criminal character of that regime. Saddam Hussein had started in 1983 with mass-killing of eight thousand Barzani men who were living peacefully in collective settlement controlled by his regime’s army. All efforts including European diplomatic mediations had failed to find a single trace of them.
Yet the worst come, Saddam had appointed his cousin Ali Hassan “Ali the Chemical” as his right hand to carry out his notorious genocidal plan. Ali resumed his work in April 15th 1987 , beginning with chemical bombardment of more than twenty Kurdish towns and villages including Halabja and Balisan. Thousands of defend less civilians were killed.

As from February 1988, the greatest crimes of late twenty’s century had begun. The name of one of Qur’an’s Sura “Anfal” was chosen for this dirty criminal campaign. Eight operation of mass killing and mass burring were carried out between February and August of that year. Tones of documents are now available in Kurdistan region of Iraq and in U.S.A. , these prove that 182,000 men, women, and children were killed and buried together in the Arabia desert (The other parts of Iraq). One of the Arab witness claims that he buried a one month old infant alive.

In 1991 in Iraq, there were a series of anti-governmental rebellions in South and in Kurdistan of Iraq. It started in March and fighting continued until October when an agreement was made for Iraqi withdrawal from parts of Iraq’s Kurdish-inhabited region. This led to the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government and creation of a Kurdistan Autonomous Republic in northern Iraq. A long positional war followed, and an estimated 100,000-150,000 Iraqi soldiers remained along the front, backed by tanks and heavy artillery and the Iraqi government established a blockade  of food, fuel and other goods going to the new autonomous republic. The USAF kept enforcing a no-fly zone over northern Iraq.

here is the KRG’s website:

Congressman Filner gives this valuable information on this subject during a speech addressing the House of Representatives on May 1st 1997, telling the following facts:
(( The Kurds have resided in their present homelands for thousands of years. Kurdish Guti kings have ruled Persia and Mesopotamia over 4000 years ago. Before that the Neolithic revolution probably first took place in Kurdistan, around 7000 B.C, 3500 years before similar development in Europe.
Some of the earliest towns and villages as well as other human settlements have been discovered in Kurdistan. Yet, one of the largest nations in the Middle East is prevented from exercising sovereignty over any part of its own land.  It is an international colony, governed over by the states of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.))

To see and to know more about Kurds and Kurdistan Region, I invite you to visit us! Kurds are generous hosts and I guarantee you that you’ll enjoy the Kurdish hospitality!  


6 thoughts on “Who Are The Kurds and What They Have Been Through?

  1. the map that is being showed above, does not represent the exact population of the kurds.. in fact it is almost half of the real map of kurdistan. best regards

    1. and there is another issue that i should mention in order to clarify the truth on the existence of the kurds.. though there is not an official statistics on the kurdish populaton in the world, we can say, according to the numbers of the kurdish tribes in india, pakistan, afghannistan, tajikistan, kazakhistan, ozbukistan, azerbayijan, armenia, georgia, russia, egypt, sudan, yaman, lebonan, palestine, israel…. on the one hand, and iraq, iran, syria and turkey on the other hand, the population of the kurds is over 80 million.

  2. Hi Nawras-

    Very interesting post. I especially appreciated the map (even if it’s not entirely accurate). I didn’t understand the perspective of Kurdistan being an occupied territory. I had in mind that the Kurds are a cultural group, but didn’t understand the direct connection to land.

    Thanks for helping me understand.

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