The map above shows the parts of the Middle East with Kurdish populations and which could make up some or all of a future state of Kurdistan. In a recent article titled The Time of the Kurds, the Council on Foreign Relations explains that:
The Kurds are one of the world’s largest peoples without a state, making up sizable minorities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Their history is marked by marginalization and persecution. Yet some Kurds may be on the verge of achieving their century-old quest for independence in a Middle East undergoing the convulsions of Syria’s civil war, Iraq’s destabilization, and conflict with the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
There roughly 30 million Kurds living in the Middle East spread out across the following countries:
- Turkey: 14.7 million (18% of total)
- Iran: 8.1 million (10% of total)
- Iraq: 5.5 million (17.5% of total)
- Syria: 1.7 million (9.7% of total)
Currently the Kurds enjoy the greatest autonomy in the Kurdistan Regional Government located in Northern Iraq and Rojava area of Syria.
You can see these two areas along with the Islamic State in the interactive map below:
Given the fighting in the region it’s very difficult to say what the future holds for the Kurdish people or a future state of Kurdistan. Low level conflict between the Turkish government and Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan) remains ongoing despite PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan announcing “an end of armed struggle and a ceasefire with peace talks” in 2013.
You can learn more about the Kurds from The Time of the Kurds by the Council on Foreign Relations and the following books:
- The Miracle of the Kurds: A Remarkable Story of Hope Reborn in Northern Iraq
- The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East
- A Modern History of the Kurds: Third Edition
Do you think an independent state of Kurdistan will ever exist? Leave your thoughts below:
Interesting to note the article and the map claims that 18% of the population in Turkey are Kurds. Based on the 6.5% votes the head of the kurdish party in Turkey had received during the presidential race, therefore means, majority of the Turkish-Kurds appear to not vote for the kurdish party.
The map is true. How much do you know about kurdish high birth rate, if you knew you would probably estimate that the under age population who cant vote is a great number
Kurdish birth rates are not disimIar to the rest of the country. However, you should learn how democratic process works! HDP’s candidate received less than 4mn votes in the presidential elections and only with the help of well meaning Turks the party received 6.1 mn votes. One is about 8% and he other is 12% of the total votes of total 53mn. They are all far less than the Kurdish populations votes in country. I think you need to learn about basic statistics and democratic representation and rights!!
If you look at almost 90 years assimilation process and recent AKP policy of using pious Kurd to vote to his Islam, then you can digest the 13% vote for HDP. Plus I would not consider HDP as a Kurdish party rather lefties progressive one, and its unfortunate that turkish people didnot hear the voice!
It is hardly proper to consider HDP as a “leftist progressive party.” It is naive to ignore the influence of the international Kurdish terrorist organisation PKK directly on the part’s politics. Just this week, I understand, the head of HDP made a u turn in his claim of politically unified message of the party as a result of a diktat from the terrorist bases in Northern Iraq. It is impossibly inappropriate to ignore more than 90% of the will of the Turkish population to accommodate Kurdish minority’s internationally chaperoned ambitions to be a state in Northern Iraq, which is not even supported by its own population in Turkey.
it is a great improvement for a turkish racist to come from turkish history thesis’ “kurds are mountain turks who speak a kind of deformed persian” to “there are kurds but they dont vote for their party”.
it is the success of pkk. they made even the denier turkish racists to recognize the identity of kurdish people…
The Khurasan enclave located at north east of Iran is missing here. I expected more accurate map from this org.
Gordon D Dudgeon says
If the area is in Iran, surrounded by Iran , but inhabited by Kurds, then It is an Iranian enclave not a Kurdish Enclave. It would be a Kurdish Exclave.
Eddy Lyons says
What the map fails to show is the percentage of those of Kurdish nationality compared to others in the “area”, the scope of which also isn’t identified. is an “area” a province? a city? some other census division? Even then it does all the peoples of a given area a disservice to say “only Kurds live here.” By the same token, I would imagine you could color the whole map brown if you’re just going by “where a single Kurdish person lives”.
Igor Dano says
To the hell with cfr and the kurds dreams.
Keep the fight up for more great changes!
Free Kurdistan. Shame on Turkey for what they have done and continue doing to the Kurds. The whole Europe is with Kurdistan, also thanks to the massive, hardworking, well integrated Kurds communities spread across the Old Continent.
No, not all of Europe is with you. They’re with you because you’re mean, separatist people. There is no such thing as Kurdistan. If you stop having 10 children, your population will drop to one in 10 in 50 years. You’re just mean creatures that eat, drink and mate.