Location Parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey
Estimated Area ca. 74,000 sq mi (191,660 sq km)- 392,000 sq km (1)
Estimated Population About 25-30 Million
Kurdistan (literally meaning “the land of Kurds”)(2) is the name of a geographic region and a cultural regionin Middle East inhabited predominantly by Kurds. It is not an independent state.
The region was known with various spellings during the ancient history of the Mesopotamia The ancient Sumerians referred to the region as Kur-a, the Elamites as Kurdasu, the Akkadians as Kurtei, the Assyrians as Kurti, the Babylonians as Qardu, the Greeks and the Romans as Corduene. The term Kurdistan was by Sultan Sanjar the Seljuk King in the 12th century. He formed a province named Kurdistan centered at Bahar situated to the northeast of Hamadan. This province was used for the first time located between Azerbaijan and Luristan. It included the regions of Hamadan, Dinawar, Kermanshah and Senna, to the east of the Zagros and to the west of Sharazur (Kirkuk) and Khuftiyan, on the river Zab.
Larger parts of Kurdistan became a province of Ottoman Empire. Following World War I and the collapse of Ottoman Empire, Kurds were promised an independent nation state in the 1920 Treaty of Severs. Turkish nationalists, however, rejected the terms of the treaty, and following the defeat of the Greek forces in the Greco- Turkish war ( 1919-1922), the Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923 in Turkey’s favor. The larger area known as Turkish Kurdistan was given to Turkey and the rest was accepted as part of the British Empire (except for the Iranian Kurdistan , which at that time was part of Persia). Since that time Kurdish nationalists have continued to seek independence in an area including the region identified at Sèvres. However, the idea of an independent nation-state came to a halt when the surrounding countries joined to reject the independence of Kurdistan.
The exact borders of Kurdistan are hard to define. It is generally held to include the regions in northern and northeastern Mesopotamia with large Kurdish populations. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Kurdistan is a mountainous region of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, inhabited predominantly by Kurds. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Kurdistan includes 27-28 million people in a 190,000 km2 (74,000 sq. mi) area, while according to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, it includes a 390,000 km2 area. Others estimate as many as 40 million Kurds live in Kurdistan, which covers an area as big as France. While Iran and Iraq acknowledge parts of Kurdistan as parts of their territories as Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan region in Iraq and Kurdistan Province in Iran), Turkey and Syria do not recognize Kurdistan as a demographic or geographic region. The boundaries of the modern ethnographic region of Kurdistan overlaps with parts of the historical ethnic kingdom of the Armenia.
(1). Brill Academic Publishers is a publishing house with a strong international focus. The main subject areas of Brill’s publication program are history, religion, Islamic studies, Asian studies and classical studies as well as specialist scientific fields and international law. Brill’s mainly English language publications include book series, individual monographs and encyclopedias as well as journals.
By launching Brill Online we offer the academic world access to some of the most renowned resources in the area of Islam.
(2). The Kurds are an ethnic group who consider themselves to be indigenous to a region often referred to as Kurdistan, an area which includes adjacent parts of Iran Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Kurdish communities can also be found in Lebanon, Armenia, Azerbaijan (Kalbajar and Lachin, to the west of Nagorno Karabakh) and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States (See Kurdish diaspora). Ethnically related to Iranian people groups they speak Kurdish, an Indo- European language of the Iranian branch.
Historically, the Kurds have continuously sought self-determination, and have fought the Sumerians , Assyrians, Persians, Mongols, European crusaders , and Turks.. Estimated at about 30 million people, the Kurds comprise one of the largest ethnic groups in theworld that do not have a Nation-state of their own. In the 20th century, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have put down many Kurdish uprisings
Kurds and Kurdistan and the international Encyclopedias