Kurds

Kurds
Kurd کورد
Roj emblem.svg
Total population
30–40 million[1]
(The World Factbook, 2015 estimate)
36.4–45.6 million[2]
(Kurdish Institute of Paris, 2017 estimate)
Regions with significant populations
 Turkeyest. 14.3–20 million[1][2]
 Iranest. 8.2–12 million[1][2]
 Iraqest. 5.6–8.5 million[1][2]
 Syriaest. 2–3.6 million[1][2]
Diaspora (outside Greater Kurdistan)2-3 million
 Germany1.2 million-1.5 million[3][4]
 France150,000[5]
 Sweden83,600[6]
 Netherlands70,000[7]
 Russia63,818[8]
 Belgium50,000[9]
 United Kingdom49,841[10][11][12]
 Kazakhstan45,551[13]
 Armenia37,470[14]
  Switzerland35,000[15]
 Denmark30,000[16]
 Jordan30,000[17]
 Austria23,000[18]
 Greece22,000[19]
 United States20,591[20]
 Georgia13,861[21]
 Kyrgyzstan13,200[22]
 Canada16,315[23]
 Finland14,054[24]
 Australia10,551[25]
 Azerbaijan6,100[26]
Languages
Kurdish and Zaza–Gorani
Minor: Turkish (in Turkey), Persian (in Iran), Arabic (in Syria and Iraq), Aramaic (in parts of Iraq and Syria)
In their different forms: Sorani, Kurmanji, Pehlewani, Zaza, Gorani
Religion
Majority Islam
(Sunni Muslim, Alevi Islam, Shia Islam)
with minorities of Yazidism, Yarsanism, Zoroastrianism, Agnosticism, Judaism, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Other Iranian peoples

Kurds (Kurdish: کورد‎, Kurd) or the Kurdish people (Kurdish: گەلی کورد‎, Gelî kurd) are an Iranian[27] ethnic group of Western Asia, mostly inhabiting a contiguous area known as Kurdistan. Geographically, those four adjacent and often-mountainous areas include southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.[28] There are also exclaves of Kurds in central Anatolia and Khorasan. Additionally, there are significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in particular Istanbul, while a Kurdish diaspora has developed in Western Europe, primarily in Germany. Numerically, the Kurds are estimated to number anywhere from a low of 30 million, to possibly as high as 45 million.[29][2]

Kurds speak the Kurdish languages and the Zaza–Gorani languages which belong to the Western Iranian languages branch of the Indo-European family.[30][31][32] Religiously, although the majority of Kurds belong to the Shafi‘i school of Sunni Islam, there are also prominent numbers of Kurds who practice Shia Islam and Alevism. Minority of the Kurdish people are adherents to Yarsanism, Yazidism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity.

Historically, after World War One and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres. However, that promise was nullified three years later, when the Treaty of Lausanne set the boundaries of modern Turkey and made no provision for a Kurdish state, leaving Kurds with minority status in their respective countries.[33] This fact has led to numerous genocides and rebellions, along with the current ongoing armed guerrilla conflicts in Turkey, Iran, and Syria / Rojava. Although Kurds are the majority population in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, because of their statelessness, Kurdish nationalist movements continue to pursue greater cultural rights, autonomy, and independence throughout Greater Kurdistan.

Language

Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East (1992)

Kurdish (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) is a collection of related dialects spoken by the Kurds.[34] It is mainly spoken in those parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey which comprise Kurdistan.[35] Kurdish holds official status in Iraq as a national language alongside Arabic, is recognized in Iran as a regional language, and in Armenia as a minority language.

Most Kurds are either bilingual or multilingual, speaking the language of their respective nation of origin, such as Arabic, Persian, and Turkish as a second language alongside their native Kurdish, while those in diaspora communities often speak three or more languages.

According to Mackenzie, there are few linguistic features that all Kurdish dialects have in common and that are not at the same time found in other Iranian languages.[36]

The Kurdish dialects according to Mackenzie are classified as:[37]

  • Northern group (the Kurmanji dialect group)
  • Central group (part of the Sorani dialect group)
  • Southern group (part of the Sorani dialect group) including Kermanshahi, Ardalani and Laki

The Zaza and Gorani are ethnic Kurds,[38] but the Zaza–Gorani languages are not classified as Kurdish.[39]

Commenting on the differences between the dialects of Kurdish, Kreyenbroek clarifies that in some ways, Kurmanji and Sorani are as different from each other as is English from German, giving the example that Kurmanji has grammatical gender and case endings, but Sorani does not, and observing that referring to Sorani and Kurmanji as "dialects" of one language is supported only by "their common origin ... and the fact that this usage reflects the sense of ethnic identity and unity of the Kurds."[40]

Other Languages
адыгабзэ: Курдхэр
Afrikaans: Koerde
العربية: كرد
aragonés: Kurdos
asturianu: Pueblu curdu
azərbaycanca: Kürdlər
تۆرکجه: کوردلر
Bân-lâm-gú: Kurd lâng
башҡортса: Курдтар
беларуская: Курды
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Курды
български: Кюрди
bosanski: Kurdi
brezhoneg: Kurded
català: Kurds
Чӑвашла: Курдсем
čeština: Kurdové
Cymraeg: Cyrdiaid
dansk: Kurdere
Deutsch: Kurden
eesti: Kurdid
Ελληνικά: Κούρδοι
español: Pueblo kurdo
Esperanto: Kurdoj
euskara: Kurdu
فارسی: مردم کرد
føroyskt: Kurdar
français: Kurdes
Frysk: Koerden
Gaeilge: Coirdínigh
galego: Pobo kurdo
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kurd-ngìn
한국어: 쿠르드인
հայերեն: Քրդեր
हिन्दी: कुर्द लोग
hrvatski: Kurdi
Bahasa Indonesia: Orang Kurdi
íslenska: Kúrdar
italiano: Curdi
עברית: כורדים
ქართული: ქურთები
қазақша: Күрдтер
Kiswahili: Wakurdi
kurdî: Kurd
لۊری شومالی: خٱلک کورد
latviešu: Kurdi
lietuvių: Kurdai
Lingua Franca Nova: Curdi
magyar: Kurdok
македонски: Курди
മലയാളം: കുർദ്
მარგალური: ქურთეფი
مصرى: اكراد
Bahasa Melayu: Orang Kurdi
Nederlands: Koerden
日本語: クルド人
нохчийн: Кхурдой
norsk: Kurdere
norsk nynorsk: Kurdarar
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kurdlar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੁਰਦ ਲੋਕ
پنجابی: کرد
پښتو: کردان
polski: Kurdowie
português: Curdos
română: Kurzi
русский: Курды
Scots: Kurds
Seeltersk: Kurden
shqip: Kurdët
Simple English: Kurdish people
سنڌي: ڪرد
slovenčina: Kurdi
slovenščina: Kurdi
کوردی: کورد
српски / srpski: Курди
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kurdi
suomi: Kurdit
svenska: Kurder
Taqbaylit: Kurd
татарча/tatarça: Көрдләр
తెలుగు: కుర్దులు
тоҷикӣ: Курдҳо
Türkçe: Kürtler
українська: Курди
اردو: کرد
Tiếng Việt: Người Kurd
吴语: 库尔德人
ייִדיש: קורדן
粵語: 庫爾德人
Zazaki: Kurd
中文: 库尔德人