Over the past two weeks First, let’s define what’s at stake. The Kurds are an ethnic group native to the northern Middle East. There are between 25-35 million Kurds spread across the world, mostly in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, with a diaspora numbering in the millions in Western Europe and Central Asia. The Kurds are so spread out, from Sweden to Azerbaijan, that nobody seems sure how many Kurds there really are. Advertisement As a group, they retain a powerful sense of identity, united by a common language, culture, and desire for a Kurdish homeland, an independent Kurdistan. This has led, until recently, to an uneasy truce, with Kurds controlling much of northern Syria with the help of Americans. Turkey, across the border, is also home to several million Kurds, who make up about fifteen to eighteen percent of the population, mostly in the east of the country. Ankara has traditionally treated its largest ethnic minority with a heavy hand, prohibiting the teaching of Kurdish and suppressing any sense of Kurdish cultural (and national) identity. This, as well as a Kurdish desire for a homeland, has spurred resentment of Turkish rule and several Kurdish uprisings. The Kurdistan Workers Party,… Read full this story
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