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Middle East Policy: Turkey-Syria Relations; Kurds and Water

Auteur : Robert Olson
Éditeur : Middle East Policy Council Date & Lieu : 1997, Washington
Préface : Pages : 26
Traduction : ISBN :
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 170x255 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Ols. Tur. N°1069Thème : Politique

Présentation Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Middle East Policy: Turkey-Syria Relations; Kurds and Water

Middle East Policy: Turkey-Syria Relations; Kurds and Water

Robert Olson

Middle East Policy Council

This article will focus on the challenge of Kurdish nationalism within Turkey, particularly as it affects Turkey’s relations with Syria and the distribution of the waters of the Euphrates, Tigris and Asi rivers, with which the “Kurdish problem” is inextricably linked.1
The Kurds are estimated to number some 20-25 million living largely in four Middle East countries: Turkey, with 10-12 million; Iran, with 5-6 million; Iraq, with 3.5 million and Syria, with 1 million. Some 70,000-80,000 Kurds also live in Armenia and in Azerbaijan. Recent reports suggest there are 300,000-1 million Kurds living within the Russian Federation. Since the bulk of Kurds live in contiguous areas, they have possessed a sense of community and shared space since medieval times at least. This sense of identity was reinforced by the a growing sense of nationalism during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The Kurds consider themselves to be direct descendants of the ancient Medes (although modem scholarship doubts this), who, because of military conquests, defeats and the collapse of empires, began to migrate around 2,000 years ago to the mountain fastnesses where they live today. From these strategic and almost impregnable locations, the Kurds were able to preserve their communities while at the same time participating in the great ...

Dr. Olson is professor of history at the University of Kentucky. He wishes to thank Hafeez Malik, editor of Joumal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for permission to use material here that first appeared in Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, vol. XIX, no. 1 (Fall 1995).


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