Who are Kurds? | Why Kurds Don’t Have Their Own Country?
This is Kurdistan, a vast region spanning about 200,000 square kilometers between present-day Turkey, Iran, and Iraq The people living in this region are called Kurds and their population is around three to four and a half million But it is the largest ethnic group in the world that does not have its own country Why are the inhabitants of this region divided into four separate countries? Why they don’t have own country? Did they try to make this region a country? Let’s find out this Why is there no separate country for the Kurds?
To know the answer to this question, we have to go back a century from today When most of the Kurdistan Region was under the control of the Ottoman Empire Before the outbreak of World War in the early 20th century, Ottoman Empire was limited to parts of present-day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and the Arabian Peninsula When the Great War began, the Ottoman Empire fought this war with the Central Powers Germany, Austro-Hungaria, Bulgaria Against Allied powers Great Britain, France, Italy and Russia
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The Ottomans were defeated in the war After the defeat, the Treaty of Sevres was signed in 1920 between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire In this treaty, the Allies divided the Empire into pieces Greece took control of the western part of present-day Turkey, while the northeastern part fell to Armenia Britain gained control over present-day Iraq and southeast Turkey While present-day Syria and a large area north of it became part of France Southwestern Turkey became part of Italy And thus,
Who are Kurds? | Why Kurds Don’t Have Their Own Country?
Ottoman Empire, which lasted for more than 6 centuries, was limited to an area smaller than present-day Turkey Before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Kurdistan was under the control of the Ottoman Empire So it was not a problem for Kurds Now that it was being divided, the Kurds also demanded that they be given a separate country of their own When the Treaty of Severus was signed between the Ottomans and the Allies The plan to grant autonomy to Kurdistan was included in the agreement But this plan remained a plan and never materialized After this agreement,
Turks under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk started the war of independence against the allies This struggle of Mustafa Kamal proved to be successful And he soon wrested back from the Allies the territories that were previously part of the Empire And the Allies had divided among themselves It also included a large area of the Kurdistan Region, which later became part of Turkey And so, in 1923, modern Turkey came into being A new treaty, the Treaty of Lausanne, was then signed between the Turks and the Allies In which the new border of Turkey was determined
The agreement did not contain any provision for an independent Kurdistan At the same time later independent countries of Syria and Iraq were being determined by the allies Thus, under the influence of the allied powers, Kurdistan was divided between three countries, Turkey, Iraq and Syria The fourth country in which Kurds are located is Iran Now the question arises, how did Kurdistan region come to Iran? For this we have to go back four centuries in history when almost the entire Kurdistan region was under the control of the Iranian Empire In the 17th century,
Iran lost this area in a war against the Turks And Iran was left with only that part of the Kurdistan Region that it still has today When the Ottoman Empire was defeated and the Allies were making agreements to divide it among themselves So at that time, Iran had also demanded from the allied powers That the Kurdistan region under the influence of Ottoman Empire should be given to Iran But these demands of Iran were immediately rejected by the allies. Now let’s find out who the Kurds are?
The Kurds are descended from indigenous tribes living in the ancient Mesopotamia along the Tigris and Euphrates river systems Most of them live in southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq, and western Iran Currently, the population of Kurds in the world is around 30 to 45 million About half of the Kurds live in Turkey, While the rest livein Iran, Iraq, Syria, and some in other countries of the world, such as Armenia, Germany etc.
The language and culture of Kurds living in different countries is almost common Most of them are Sunni Muslims, while some Kurds belong to other Christian and Jewish religions Now the question would arise that the Kurds of the four major countries ever tried for independence? To find the answer to this question, we examine the post-World War I situation After being divided into four major countries The Kurds continued to fight for independence in their respective countries in the coming decades But their efforts for freedom have been suppressed by the countries where they live During World War II, Turkey was neutral, but the Kurds of Iraq,
Syria and Iran sided with the allied powers Kurds in Turkey have been fighting for independence since the beginning And have been facing severe restrictions from the state. Kurds constitute about 20 percent of the total population in Turkey Until 1991, the Kurdish language was banned in Turkey Those who speak the Kurdish language and publish any content in it have been severely punished In Turkey, separatist Kurds have also formed a party, the Kurdistan Works Party (PKK), since 1978 Turkey,
The United States and the European Union have declared it a terrorist organization Turkey believes that organization is involved in extremist activities and is responsible for the deaths of countless Turks This is the reason why Turkey’s attitude towards this organization has always been tough And the Turkish government continues to take strict actions against this organization Kurds are the largest minority in Syria after Turkey Kurds make up about 10 percent of Syria’s total population
There is also a ban on having Kurdish names, such names are replaced with Arabic names Here too, the war between the government and the Kurds has been going on for decades And Turkey has now become involved in this War When the PKK began its operations in 1984, it also carried out operations against the government in Iraq and Syria As a result, thousands of people have lost their lives As a response to these operations, Turkey continues to carry out airstrikes on Iraqi and especially Kurdish populations in Syria The behind-the-scenes
Turkish government is also supported by the Syrian government There has been a lot of acceleration in these activities of Turkey since 2010 The reason for this is that when the civil war started in Syria after the Arab Spring protests The Kurds also intensified operations against the Syrian government They felt that this was an excellent opportunity to gain independence For this purpose, they have created an organization called SDF,
Formerly known as YPG Since Turkey considers both the SDF and the PKK to be the same organization So it continues to operate against both But, there is something interesting Turkey’s NATO ally, the United States, considers the Turkish Kurdish organization PKK a terrorist organization But its views on the Syrian Kurdish organization SDF are quite different This is the reason why it continues to provide them with arms and support
One of the reasons for this is that the SDF is fighting for the cause of US Due to the support of the US Turkey is also angry that the same weapons are used by these rebels against the Turks The United States also criticizes Turkey for its operations against the SDF in Syria Saying that the weakening of the SDF is leading to the strengthening of ISIS Turkey now wants to create a 30 km wide Safe Zone on the border with Syria So that to create a barrier in the connections between the Turkish and Syrian Kurdish organizations And a buffer zone can be established
Thus it will be difficult for rebels to move from one country to another On the border, Turkey has already gained control over some areas with the help of the Syrian government But it wants to expand it and make the entire border region a safe zone One of the aims of Turkey to create a safe zone here Is to send back the Syrian refugees who have settled in Turkey as a result of thecivil war Turkey wants to reduce the Kurdish hold in the region in the coming days by mixing these refugees with the Kurdish population Kurds constitute 15 to 20 percent of the total population in Iraq Even here,
The Iraqi government’s attitude towards them has been the same since the beginning In the first Gulf War in 1991, they were severely pressed by the government Efforts for a separate Kurdish state in Iraq continued in the coming decades to be met with severe violence by the Sunnis And after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime Iraqi Kurdistan has been declared a semi-autonomous region in the constitution since 2005 But the Kurds have not got full autonomy here either
This issue of the Kurds has also become an obstacle to Sweden and Finland joining NATO After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland have applied for NATO membership But its approval will be possible only if every member of the NATO alliance supports this inclusion Since Turkey is also a member of NATO, it is not giving this approval yet Turkey demands rebels who have taken refuge should be handed over to Turkey,
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Because the US wants the membership of these two countries in NATO in order to extend its influence to Eastern Europe But it also does not want to face Turkey directly That is why it only criticizes Turkey’s attacks in Syria and does not adopt a more severe attitude It was a complex story of the Kurds with many other issues attached to it And there is no solution yet Do you think there will be a solution to this problem or will it continue in the coming centuries? Be sure to write us in comments