10 JUNE 2016


The Kurds, or Kurdish people, live in an area including territories on 4 Countries: Turkey (the majority), Syria, Iran and Iraq. Large Kurdish communities also live in Armenia and Georgia. Excluding the diaspora, the Kurds count about 40 million people, the largest community in the world without a nation of their own. From the ethnic point of view, their origin is the mountains of Zagros, therefore they are of Iranian descent and (having defended it fiercely over the years) they were able to maintain many aspects of their ancient identity. This is in spite of over 90 years (not to mention older history) of relentless and violent repression and assimilation attempts by the local governments of the nations where they currently live. These attempts sometimes turn into genocide, like during the last year in Turkey, especially the last few months. Kurdish communities have different political structures and this has often caused open conflicts between them – an example of this are the "Iraqi Kurds" and the "Turkish Kurds". These definitions are superficial and erratic, however they help to understand quite a complex situation from the geographical point of view. The Iraqi Kurds, whose leader is Barzani, tend to cooperate with Turkey, whereas their behaviour is deceptive, if not openly hostile, towards the Turkish and Syrian Kurds. In the Syrian region of Rojava, the border area with Turkey conquered by the Kurdish guerrilla when Assad's governmental forces retired, a revolution started with the declaration of democratic independence and a truly new experimental model of direct democracy. The Iranian Kurds often fell under the cleaver of the Islamic regime, which is ill-disposed towards this fierce and resolute people who did convert to Islam but is bound to its own traditions (the original religion of the Kurdish people is the Zoroastrianism) and who resists to assimilation.