The name Kurdistan appears for the first time as a designation for an area of the Armenian chronicle of Matthew of Edessa. He designated K’rdstanac as a region between Diyarbakır and Siverek. The chronicle describes in three parts the events of the years 952-1136. As an administrative unity, Kurdistan emerged as a province of the Seljuk Empire during the time of the Sultan Ahmad Sanjar (ruled 1097-1157). It included the modern Iranian-occupied territories of Hamadan, Kermānshāh, Dinawar and Sanandaj. Hamdallah Mustawfi lists the 16 cantons of this province in his work Nuzhat al-Qulūb from 1349.
In Sherefname, the Lurs also counted as part of Kurdistan. Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi counts nine vilayets in the fourth episode of his Seyahatname. At that time these vilayets belonged to Kurdistan: Erzurum, Van, Hakkari, Diyarbekir, Jazirah (Cizre), Amadiya, Mosul, Shahrizor and Ardalan. The rivalry between the Ottoman Empire and Safavids led to the division of Kurdistan. In 17th century only the districts of Dersim, Muş and Diyarbekir belonged to the Ottoman side,the Vilayet Kurdistan. In the 16th century Kurdistan limited its administrative area to the Ardalan region. Hamadan and Lorestan were separate from it.
In a letter in 1526 from the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman to French King Francis I, Süleyman called Kurdistan as part of his domain.
The borders of Kurdistan can not be clearly defined for several reasons. On the one hand, apart from the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq and Rojava Administration in North Syria, there is no political territory or administrative unit in Kurdistan. In addition, there are territorial disputes between KRG and central government of Iraq. The borders of Kurdistan are therefore very controversial.
Kurdistan is located between the 34th and 40th degrees of latitude and the 38th and 48th degrees of eastern longitude. It stretches over East and Southeast Anatolia – more precisely from İskenderun and Taurus mountains up to the Ararat – to the Urmia lake in Iran and includes the region of the Zagros mountain chain, ie the Northern Iraq and West Iran, as well as parts of Northen Syria. Kurdish patriots have used the names of East Kurdistan, North Kurdistan, South Kurdistan and West Kurdistan for the Kurdish areas occupied Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria since the 1980s. This is followed by characterizations of individual parts of Kurdistan according to the states which the territories occupied by.
KRG (South Kurdistan)
Rojava (West Kurdistan)
Corduene (or Gordyene; Kurdish:Kardox, Greek:Κορδυηνή Kordyene) was an ancient state in northern Mesopotamia, in today’s Kurdistan region. It is said to have been located in the mountainous region around the Van Lake in today’s Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The state stretched to the left bank of the Tigris.
Nineteenth century researchers, for example, George Rawlinson, recognized Corduene and Carduchi with today’s Kurds, considering that Corduene was the oldest lexical type “Kurdistan”. Some current academic sources, which have identified Corduene as proto-Kurdish, upheld this opinion.
For more: Corduene
The Eyalet of Kurdistan
The Eyâlet Kurdistan was a short-lived Ottoman Eyalet founded on 13 December 1847 after the Revolt of Bedirxan Beg. The founding was published in the Ottoman State newspaper Takvim-i Vekayi on December 14, 1847.
Initially, Eyalet Kurdistan included the areas of Diyarbekir, the Sanjaks Van, Muş and Hakkâri and the Kazas (counties) Cizre, Botan and Mardin. In the course of short existence of the Eyalet, the provincial capital often changed. At first it was Ahlat, later Van, Muş and Diyarbekir. In 1856, the Eyâlet was redefined and then dissolved in 1864. From the Eyâlet the two Vilayets Diyarbekir and Van emerged.
The Red Kurdistan (Ku: Kurdistana Sor, Az: Qızıl Kürdistan, Ru: Красный Курдистан) denotes an autonomous province in the former USSR, which existed between 1923 and 1929. Today, Red Kurdistan’s territories belong to Azerbaijan in international law but occupied by Armenia.
For more :Red Kurdistan
Kingdom of Kurdistan
The Kingdom of Kurdistan (Kurdish: Memlekey Kurdistan) was an internationally unrecognized short-lived state in today’s South Kurdistan. It was founded by influental Kurdish Sufi leader Sheikh Mahmud Barzinji(Mehmûd Berzincî). Sulaymaniyah was the capital. The Kingdom existed from October 1922 to July 1924.
For more info: Kingdom of Kurdistan
Kurdish Republic of Ararat
The Republic of Ararat (Kurdish: Komara Agiriyê, named after the Mount Ararat) was proclaimed as a Kurdish state in the east of the newly created Turkish Republic in 1927 during the Ararat rebellion. It has never been internationally acknowledged. Since 1931, its territory has been under Turkish control and is located in the center of the Kurdish province of Ağrı.
Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad
The Republic of Mahabad (officially: Kurdistan, Kurdish: Komara Kurdistan), also known as the People’s Republic of Mahabad, was one of Kurdish national states in the 20th century. It lasted for 11 months in north-west of today’s Iran. 15 years before the foundation of Mahabad Republic, an attempt had been made with the Republic of Ararat in the Turkish occupied Kurdistan , but failed.
The Republic of Kurdistan was founded in present day’s West Azerbaijan Province. It survived from the 22nd of January until 16th of December, 1946. The names of the state, especially in Europe, refer to its capital, Mahabad.
For more: Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
The Autonomous Region of Kurdistan was established in 1970 by a treaty between Saddam Hussein and the leaders of the Kurdish parties under Molla Mustafa Barzani. Region of Kurdistan is a de jure administrative unit of Iraq, with its own constitution, government, parliament, capital (Erbil), administration, official language, coat of arms, flag, national anthem, and own security forces. KRG’s current president is Masoud Barzani and the Prime Minister is Nechirvan Barzani.
Kordestan Province in Iran
Kordestān, also called Kordistan or Kurdistan (Persian استان کردستان Ostān Kordestān, Kurdish کوردستان Kurdistan) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is part of the Kurdish settlement area and should not be confused with the larger geographical area of Kurdistan.
There are 1,438,543 people living in the province (census 2006). The area of the province covers 29,137 square kilometers. The population density is 49 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Kordestān lies in the west of Iran on the border with the KRG. The province’s neighbors are To West Azerbaijan in the north, Zanjan in the north-east, Hamadan in the east and Kirmanshah in the south.
The capital of the province is Sanandaj (Sine in Kurdish) with 316,862 inhabitants (2006 census). Other major cities are Marivan, Baneh, Saqqez, Qorveh and Bijar.
Rojava (Kurdish رۆژاڤایا کوردستانێ, Rojavaya Kurdistanê, Arabic كردستان السورية, DMG Kurdistān as-sūriyya;, in English Rozhava or West Kurdistan) is a de facto autonomous Kurdish administration in Syria. In a meeting on 17 March 2016, Kurdish, Syriac, Arab and Turkmen delegates declared the Federation of North Syria – Rojava, consisting of the cantons of Efrîn, Kobanî and Cizîrê. So far, Rojava is not internationally recognized.
According to a non-governmental investigation by Konda, there are 11.5 million Kurds in Turkey. CIA estimated that 20% of Turkey’s population are Kurds. In Iraq, Kurds are the largest ethnic minority. They represent between 15 and 20% of the population. The Kurds in Iran represent about 7% of the population. In Syria, Kurds are the second largest ethnic group. Majority of the Kurds are Sunni Muslims followed by the Shias and Alevites. There are also Yazidi and Zoroastrian Kurds.
For the ethnic minorities of Kurdistan: Multiethnic Kurdistan
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2.Strohmeier & Yalçın-Heckmann: The Kurds, 2003, p. 20
3.Encyclopedia of Islam, The Kurds
5.Rawlinson, George, The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7, 1871 (copy at Project Gutenberg)
6. Grässe, J. G. Th. (1909) . “Gordyene”. Orbis latinus; oder, Verzeichnis der wichtigsten lateinischen orts- und ländernamen (in German) (2nd ed.). Berlin: Schmidt.
columbia.edu via Columbia University.
7. Kurds. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07
8. A.D. Lee, The Role of Hostages in Roman Diplomacy with Sasanian Persia, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 40, No. 3 (1991), pp. 366-374 (see p.371)
9. Revue des études arméniennes, vol.21, 1988-1989, p.281, By Société des études armeniennes, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Published by Imprimerie nationale, P. Geuthner, 1989
10. Emir Bedirhan Lütfi Ahmad Ramiz, 2007 p. 113 (Translation of Takvim-i Vekayi)