Our subject is the history and culture of the Kurds.
I would like to say beforehand, that the Kurds do not only have a very long history, but also a very moving and complicated one as well as a correspondingly rich culture. Therefore, I ask you to be understanding as I can do no more in one hour than give you a brief outline.
Today the Kurds are about 40 million. Their homeland is called Kurdistan, which means “country of the Kurds”. Kurdistan is not the name of a country or state, but rather, a land which in the 20th century was obligatorily divided among five states (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Soviet Union). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 1990’s, the Soviet part of Kurdistan (“red Kurdistan”) became a part of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Kurds are today the largest stateless
territorial nation in the world.
Kurdistan extends from the Caucasus to the Mediterranean Sea and from there to the Gulf. A part of it lies in Mesopotamia, which is regarded as the “cradle of humanity”.