Portal:Kurdistan

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Introduction

Kurdistan (/ˌkɜːrdɪˈstæn, ˈstɑːn/; Kurdish: کوردستان[ˌkʊɾdɯˈstɑːn] (About this sound listen); lit. "homeland of the Kurds") or Greater Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural historical region wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population and Kurdish culture, languages and national identity have historically been based. Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges. The territory corresponds to Kurdish irredentist claims.

Contemporary use of the term refers to the following areas: southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and northern Syria (Rojava or Western Kurdistan). Some Kurdish nationalist organizations seek to create an independent nation state consisting of some or all of these areas with a Kurdish majority, while others campaign for greater autonomy within the existing national boundaries.

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Chad Hill, Ancient citadel in Kirkuk, Iraq
Kirkuk is a city in the north of Iraq, 236 kilometres (147 mi) north of, Baghdad, and 83 kilometres (52 miles) south of Erbil. It is the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.

Kirkuk lies in a wide zone with an enormously diverse population, which has moreover experienced dramatic demographic changes in the course of the twentieth century. The city has been multilingual for centuries, and the development of distinct ethnic groups was a process that took place over the course of Kirkuk's urbanization in the twentieth century. Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians and Arabs lay conflicting claims to this zone, and all have their historical accounts and memories to buttress their claims.

The city sits on the site of the ancient Hurrian southern capital of Arrapha, which sits near the Khasa River on the ruins of a 5,000-year-old settlement (Kirkuk Citadel). It became known as Arrapha under the domination of the Hurrians—pre-Aryan peoples. The city reached great importance again under the later, but short-lived Assyrians in the 10th and 11th centuries BC. Because of the strategic geographical location of the city, Kirkuk was the battle ground for three empires—the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Babylonia, and Media—which controlled the city at various times.

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MosheBarazani.jpg
Moshe Barazani, also Barzani (June 14, 1926 – April 21, 1947), was an Iraqi-born Kurdish Jew and a member of Lehi ("Freedom Fighters of Israel," aka the "Stern Gang") underground movement in pre-state Mandate Palestine during the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. He is most notable for having committed suicide with a hand grenade together with Meir Feinstein, another Jewish underground fighter under sentence of death, shortly before their scheduled executions, and is memorialized in Israel today as one of the Olei Hagardom.

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