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Introduction to Kurds Kurdish lands rich in natural resources have always sustained and promoted a large population While registering modest gains since the late 19th century but particularly in the first decade of the 20th Kurds lost demographic ground relative to neighboring ethnic groups This was due as much to their less developed economy and health care system as it was to direct massacres deportations famines etc The total number of Kurds actually decreased in this period while every other major ethnic group in the area boomed Since the middle of the 1960s this negative demographic trend has reversed and Kurds are steadily regaining the demographic position of importance that they traditionally held representing 15 of the over-all population of the Middle East in Asia-a phenomenon common since at least the 4th millennium BC Today Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East after the Arabs Persians and Turks Their largest concentrations are now respectively in Turkey approx 52 of all Kurds Iran255 Iraq 16 Syria 5 and the CIS 15 Barring a catastrophe Kurds will become the third most populous ethnic group in the Middle East by the year 2000 displacing the Turks Furthermore if present demographic trends hold as they are likely to in about fifty years Kurds will also replace the Turks as the majority ethnic group in Turkey itself There is now one Kurdish city with a population of nearly a million Kirminshan two with over half a million Diyarbekir Kirkuk five between a quarter and half a million Antep Arbil Hamadan Malatya Sulaymania and quarter of a million people Adiyaman Dersim Tunceli Dohuk Elazig Kharput Haymana Khanaqin Mardin Qamishli Qochan Sanandaj Shahabad Siirt and Urfa The Turks Vicious Approaches The Turks have had no mercy on the Kurds who only want to see their leader back among them The PKK leader was kidnapped which no doubt has upset the Kurds therefore its their
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