Originally Posted by cascade
The Kurds are about 26 milllion in number, and have their own language, religion and ethnicity and culture.
They would have their own nation, which would cut a broad swathe across Turkey, Iraq and Iran, but instead those countries have repressed their dreams of nationhood.
The PKK is the radical element of the Kurdish separatists in Turkey, and a persistant thorn in the side of the Turkish government, and is strongest in Eastern Turkey, which would comprise part of their nation were it allowed to exist.
The Kurdish tribes in the remoter areas of eastern Turkey are pretty ungovernable by the Turkish government, and difficult or impossible for the Turkish Army to control
Their major city is Diyarbakir in Eastern Turkey. The PKK terrorist bombings remind one of the IRA separitists in Northern Ireland, the situation is parallel in some respects.
Many Turkish Kurds actually consider themselves Turks first and Kurds second, and desire some autonomy, that much I know.
Outright repression of them won't be a good solution, though
Saddam tried that in Iraq in 1988 most notably
That's pretty much about all I know about the issue.
The Kurdish inhabited areas also include parts of Syria (10% of the population).
The Kurds are the largest ethinc group without a homeland.
During my time in Iran I traveled to Kermanshah and Sanandaj (best backgammon boards from the wood of walnut trees).
Main articles: Yazdanism, Yazidism, Yarsan, Alevi, Kurdish Jews, and Kurdish Christians
An Ezidi temple in Lalish, KurdistanYazdanism refers to a group of native monotheistic religions practiced among the Kurds: Alevism, Yarsan and Yazidism. The main element in Yazdani faiths is the belief in seven angelic entities that protect the world, therefore these traditions are named as Cult of Angels The original religion of the Kurds was Yazidism, a religion greatly influenced by the Jewish, Daevic, Zoroastrian, Christian and Islamic beliefs. However there are significant differences between Yazdanism and Zoroasterianism, such as the belief in re-incarnation. Most Yazidis live in Iraqi Kurdistan, in the vicinity of Mosul and Sinjar. The Yarsan (or Ahl-e Haqq) religion is practised in western Iran, primarily around Kermanshah. Christianity and Judaism both are still practised in very small numbers. Rabbi Asenath Barzani, who lived in Mosul from 1590 to 1670, was among the very first Jewish women to become a rabbi.
Today the majority of Kurds are officially Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school of Sunni Islam. Mystical practices and participation in Sufi orders are also widespread among Kurds. There is also a minority of Kurds that are Shia Muslims, primarily living in the Ilam and Kermanshah provinces of Iran, Central Iraq (Fayli Kurds). The Alevis are another religious minority among the Kurds, mainly found in Turkey.
It is been said that Kurds "hold their Islam lightly", meaning that their faith tends not to be as assertive as it can become in other areas. One consequence, for example, has been the greater freedoms enjoyed by Kurdish women; they do not cover their faces, their hijab is less restrictive, and they do not wear full-cover garments such as the Iranian chador or Arabic abaya .