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Unformatted text preview: Sheet1 Page 1 The Kurds- A Nation Without a State Introduction Of all the ethnic groups in the world, the Kurds are one of the largest that has no state to call their own. According historian William Westermann, "The Kurds can present a better claim to race purity...than any people which now Europe." (Bonner, p. 63, 1992) Over the past hundred years, the desire for an independent Kurdish state has cre conflicts mainly with the Turkish and Iraqi populations in the areas where most of the Kurds live. This conflict has important geographical implications as well. The history of the Kurdish nation, the causes for these conflicts, and analysis of the situation will be discussed in this paper. History of the Kurds The Kurds are a Sunni Muslim people living primarily in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The 25 million Kurds have a distin culture that is not at all like their Turkish, Persian, and Arabic neighbors (Hitchens, p. 36, 1992). It is this cultural difference between the groups that automatically creates the potential for conflict. Of the 25 million Kurds, approx 10 million live in Turkey, four million in Iraq, five million in Iran, and a million in Syria, with the rest scattered throu the rest of the world (Bonner, p. 46, 1992). The Kurds also have had a long history of conflict with these other eth groups in the Middle East, which we will now look at. The history of Kurds in the area actually began during ancient times. However, the desire for a Kurdish homeland begin until the early 1900& s, around the time of World War I. In his Fourteen Points, President Woodrow Wilson promised the Kurds a sovereign state (Hitchens, p. 54, 1992). The formation of a Kurdish state was supposed to been accomplished through the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 which said that the Kurds could have an independent s they wanted one (Bonner, p. 46, 1992). With the formation of Turkey in 1923, Kemal Ataturk, the new Turkish President, threw out the treaty and denied the Kurds their own state. This was the beginning of the Turkish-Kurdi conflict. At about this same time, the Kurds attempted to establish a semi-independent state, and actually succeeded in fo Kingdom of Kurdistan, which lasted from 1922-1924 Republic, which lasted for only one year (Prince, p. 17, 1993). In 1924, Turkey even passed a law banning the us Kurdish language in public places. Another group of people to consider is the Kurds living in Iraq. Major conflict between the Kurds and Iraqis did no really begin until 1961, when a war broke out that lasted until 1970. Around this time, Saddam Hussein came to p Iraq. In 1975, Hussein adopted a policy of eradicating the Kurds from his country. Over the next fifteen years, theIraq....
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- Spring '08
- Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish people