Analysis of Kurdish Geopolitics Analysis of Kurdish Geopolitics Past and Present Who are the Kurds? Most of us have heard about them but dont know who they are. Are they a race, a religion, a country? As we see from the following example, even Europeans who are much closer to the Kurds still do not have a complete understanding of the Kurds or the middle east in general: In the West, the left and liberal minded people in general, especially in the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries, have usually supported or at least expressed some sympathy with the struggles against both European colonialism and U.S. policies in Vietnam. But as soon as the problem shifted to Biafra, Southern Sudan, Kurdistan or Eritrea – in short, whenever the national question was raised within a third world country – this section of the public opinion has tended to remain silent and confuesed.1 This lack of knowledge about the Kurds and Middle East in general is a major wall between resolution of the many problems that exist in the Middle East. I would like to give you a better understanding of what it is to be Kurdish by describing to you the past and present condition of Kurdistan, the state or territory that the Kurdish people populate.
A brief understanding of the history of the Kurdish people is all that is needed to successfully accretion just why we should be more involved and educated about the current political activities surrounding Kurdistan and the countries that infringe upon it. The Kurdish people have the unfortunate distinction of being the only community of over 15 million in population that has not achieved some form of national statehood.2 This is the problem that needs addressing, people without a country. There Kurds territory, would be country, consists of the mountainous regions of central and northern Zargos, the eastern one-third of the Taurus and Pontus, and the northern half of the Amanus ranges (see F1).4 The Kurdish are an ancient people who about 4,000 thousand years ago started to trickle into Kurdistan in limited numbers to settle there.3 By the classical era in 300 b.c. the Kurds were already experiencing massive population movements that resulted in settlement and domination of many surrounding regions.5 Although they did at times rule over the land outside the mountains, for the most part, the Kurds home ended where the mountains ended. The Kurds as a distinct people have only survived in the mountains.6 The relationship between the Kurds and the mountains is so strong that they have become synomonis.7 These mountains are also the axis for five major countries, which include Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the former Soviet Union.
Since the end of World War I, Kurdistan has been divided into these five sovereign states, in which a significant population of Kurds inhabit (see below).