Kurds & Kurdistan, a speech by Azad Moradian,
DRH Holsted in International Development studies, Lindersvold, Denmark
Thursday, April 2nd, 1998
DRH Holsted in International Development studies Denmark
Common evening, Thursday, April the 2nd 1998
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Kurds are an ethnic group of about 30 million people who have been victimized by the political and ideological turmoil of our times. The fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle -East, The Kurds have lived in the same geographical area for perhaps 4000 years. That Homeland was divided and is now ruled by their four immediate neighbors, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Kurds are living in about 530,000-km2 areas.
The Kurds are spread in varying concentrations throughout a crescent shaped region in the Middle-East, that comprises a large part of the mountainous region between the Black sea and Steppes of Iraq on one side, and the Anti- Taurus Mountains and the Iranian plateau toother. Kurdistan may be defined as that area where a homogeneous group of Kurds predominates; so defined; Kurdistan is currently divided among Turkey, Iraq and Iran. There are also Kurds in Syria, Lebanon, The former Soviet Union and Afghanistan, mingled with other small ethnic groups (such as Persian, Arabs, Turks, Azeri, Assyrians, Armenians, and Turkmans.) who are scattered throughout the Kurdish area.
In Iraq, the Kurds inhabit an area of North of Hamrin Mountains. In Iran to Zeros Mountain system and in Turkey the Kurds inhabit on an area in the Ararat Mountains.
The Kurdish Language belongs to Iranian Group of The Indo-European Language family. Figure one the number of Kurds very from one source to another, since there are no accurate figures, especially in the countries where Kurds are now recognized as a separate ethnic group. Crucial decisions affecting Kurdish history and Kurdish cultural survival were made in this century.
With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World-War 1, The Allied-Powers curved out the modern Middle East. The original treaty of Severs, provided for an independent Kurdistan. It was never ratified. The final treaty of Lausanne signed in 1923 created the modern states of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. However, Kurdistan was totally ignored.
Today there are 18 -20 million Kurds in Turkey, 8 – 10 million in Iran, 4 – 5 million in Iraq, 1- 1.5 million in Ex. USSR (200,000 Kurds in Azerbaijan Rep., 200-300,000 in Armenia Rep., 100,000 in Georgia and etc.), and about 500,000 -1 million in another country
The Kurds have repeatedly attempted to reestablish control over their territory. Countries with Kurdish minorities fear Kurdish ethnic resurgence and any activity toward Self-determination. Therefore, they actively engage in campaigns to assimilate as well as dispossess the Kurds. The Kurds also suffer from collective repression, as each governmentfear that gains is any one area may spread into others.
In Turkey the speaking, law has prohibited reading and writing of the Kurdish language, the wearing of Kurdish costume.
In Iraq as in Syria, Kurdish areas are being “Arabized”. The whole population of Kurds is forced from their lands, sometimes in such haste that children have been left behind. Their lands are resettled with Arabs. Arabs have even been paid to marry Kurdish women as a means of destroying the Kurdish cultural identity. Kurds are either deported or resettled in barren, desert areas. They are becoming homeless refugee. During the Iran-Iraq war and the Golf war, more than 2 million Kurds become refugee, and more than 10,000 Kurds with Iranian and Iraqi governments killed. For example, in the city of Healable (one of the Iraqi Kurd city) at least 5000 Kurd at less than one hour killed with chemical bombs.
In Iran, the Kurds have been subjected to the “bloodbath” promised by the Islamic regime. Bombed and besieged.
The atrocities and brutalities committed by the Islamic regime of Iran against the Kurdish people and opposition parties are beyond the imagination of the civilized world. Since the Iranian revolution 1979 and the invasion of Kurdistan by Islamic regime’s armed forces, more than 5o,ooo of people have been killed. Tens of thousands imprisoned and tortured. In addition, thousands of Kurds forced into exile inside the country Tens of thousands more have been forced to flee the country and seek safety outside their homeland. However, the terrorist activities of Iranian regime did not stop at this. They were extended beyond the Iranian borders. Regime’s terrorists in Europe and other country have killed more than 260 members of the opposition Iranian party. Among them the leaders of Kurds, Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlo and Dr. Sadegh Sharafkandi were killed respectively in Austria, July 1989 and in Germany, on September 17- 1992. We have a long history during which our peaceful demands for our legitimate national rights, freedom federalism for the Kurd and democracy in Iran have always been met by force and military means by the central powers in Tehran.
It this tragedy of major proportions that so large on ethnic group should be allowed to slip between the pages of history by the force of global indifference.
Thank you very much and we wish you full success in your humanity program.
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