Kurdistan is a spatio-cultural ethnic region spreading over several countries including western Iran, northern Iraq, eastern Turkey and smaller portion of Armenia and Northern Syria. Though not a country, it has been recognized as an autonomous entity in an agreement with the Iraqi Government in 1970, later re-affirmed as such within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005. However, there is a province in Iran, namely Kurdistan, which is not autonomous.
The origin of the word “Kurd” is not known, though it is thought to be originated from middle Persian, meaning “nomad; tent-dweller” and the suffix “-stan” is a Persian word, meaning “region”. So, the literal translation becomes-“Region of the Kurds”. Kurds possess their own flag. The capital of Kurdistan is Erbil, which holds great significance as the existence of citadel of Erbil goes back to 6000 years B.C. The official language of Kurdistan is Kurdish. The two main dialects of this language are Sorani and Kurmanji which, in turn, have different variations. As it is a region consisting of people of various states, the people also use Arabic, Turkmen, Armenian and other languages. The dominant religion is Islam. Here, people lead a traditional nomadic lifestyle which has saved them in times of several political unrest and attacks. The population as counted is 35 million which makes it one of the largest ethnic groups in the world. The mountains, both geographically and symbolically, hold a special importance in Kurdish culture as it is often considered sacred. There is also a proverb –“Kurds have no friends but the mountains” which gives focus on the significance of mountains in their life. The north-eastern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges are included in this particular region. Most of the region has a continental climate. Firs, willow, poplar, oaks and palm trees along with several other types of fauna have been found here. Important animals include red fox, Indian porcupine, striped Hyena among others.
From ancient Persians from the east and Alexander the great from the west till the invasion of Iraq by United States in 2003, the region of Kurdistan has been a subject of invasion. After the end of World War 1, the “Treaty of Sevres”, which had been previously formed to decide upon the partition of the Ottoman Empire, was rejected by the newly formed Turkish Republic and the “Treaty of Lausanne” was signed. The new treaty denied the referendum for Kurdish independence. The enforcement of no-flying zone in Iraqi Kurdistan by the Americans after the Gulf War gave freedom to them; however the blockage in supply routes affected the Kurds a lot. In the present situation, the Kurds are involved in the Syrian Civil War, which has been fought for almost 8 years. The Kurds are among the rebels, termed as “terrorists” by Assad. Kurds have been taken up the region which they call Rojava and their primary aim is to gain freedom and against IS. The war is still going on with all its bloodiness and gore with the shame that humans brought upon themselves in order to gain power and identity.