Turkish Kurdistan

Kurdistan lies in the Middle East. It covers 409.650 square kilometers where 20-25 million Kurds live. Four big rivers have their source in Kurdistan - Euphrat, Tigris, Araz and Kezil-Ozan. Territory of Kurdistan is also rich in natural resources, e.g., oil in Kirkuk, Khanagin and Djezire (8-10% of the world reserves ), gold, silver, iron and chrome. The Kurdish nation has its own language, identity and culture, which it has retained during centuries of repression .
Kurdistan, which today lies in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia, has been divided several times during its history. One of these divisions took place after the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1917. France and Britain did not carry out their promises to make a Kurdish state, and in the treaty of Lausanne in 1924 Kurdistan was divided by the British mandatory power among Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The Kurds have tried several times to obtain their independence, and Kurdistan has seen many armed insurrections. In 1946, the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad was founded in Iran, but before a year was over it was crushed by Iranian soldiers, as a victim of international conflicts. Also in recent years, the Kurds in Iraq, Iran and Turkey have been fighting against prohibition of the Kurdish language, censorship, deportation, executions and arabisation. In Turkey the armed forces try to destroy the Kurdish society, completely disregarding all human rights. The government in Iraq was forced to proclaim autonomy for the Kurds in 1970 after ten years of war, but the autonomy was never realized and finally, in 1975, the Kurdish resistance was cruelly crushed. After 1975, 4700 villages were destroyed and their residents deported. In 1988 the genocide in Iraq culminated in the gas attacks on several villages, killing and blessing innocent civilians within a couple of minutes. Thousands of Kurds have left Kurdistan and live in Europe or in refugee camps, cut off any help donated by international relief organizations.


Zinniker, J., Badertscher, K. Tagebuch aus Kurdistan, Coban Verlag, 1979

| Kurdistan main page | Portraits 2 | Playing with the guns |
| Kurdistan stock photographs | Kurdistan references | Kurdistan links |

two stories from Kurdistan by Jannis Zinniker (in German):

| Nuria | Zelal |

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