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The Kurds - A Nation Without a State Introduction Of all the ethnic groups in the world the Kurds are one of the largest that has no state to call their own According to historian William Westermann The Kurds can present a better claim to race puritythan any people which now inhabits Europe Bonner p 63 1992 Over the past hundred years the desire for an independent Kurdish state has created conflicts mainly with the Turkish and Iraqi populations in the areas where most of the Kurds live This conflict has important geographical implications as well The history of the Kurdish nation the causes for these conflicts and an analysis of the situation will be discussed in this paper History of the Kurds The Kurds are a Sunni Muslim people living primarily in Turkey Iraq and Iran The 25 million Kurds have a distinct culture that is not at all like their Turkish Persian and Arabic neighbors Hitchens p 36 1992 It is this cultural difference between the groups that automatically creates the potential for conflict Of the 25 million Kurds approximately 10 million live in Turkey four million in Iraq five million in Iran and a million in Syria with the rest scattered throughout the rest of the world Bonner p 46 1992 The Kurds also have had a long history of conflict with these other ethnic groups in the Middle East which we will now look at The history of Kurds in the area actually began during ancient times However the desire for a Kurdish homeland did not begin until the early 1900s around the time of World War I In his Fourteen Points President Woodrow Wilson promised the Kurds a sovereign state Hitchens p 54 1992 The formation of a Kurdish state was supposed to have been accomplished through the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 which said that the Kurds could have an independent state if they wanted
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