The Case for a Kurdish State in the Middle East

by Diliman Abdulkader
January 25, 2017

Many international bodies including the United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League continue to push for a Palestinian state, while ignoring calls for a Kurdish one. For far too long, the Arab, Turkish and Iranian peoples and leaderships have used the Israeli-Palestinian issue as justification for their own problems.

Without acknowledging the “Kurdish question,” which spans four major states — Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey — the Middle East will have trouble achieving stability.

The goal of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been used by Arabs, Turks and Iranians in the Middle East as a cover to deflect criticism away from their own indifferent leadership. The 22 existing Arab States, along with Turkey and Iran, can easily establish a homeland for the Palestinians, but they are not interested in doing so. The goal of these states is not to create another Arab state, but to eradicate an only Jewish state.

Giving the Palestinians a state will not solve the Syrian civil war, the Sunni-Shiite divisions in Iraq will remain, the destructive Islamist path of Turkey’s President Erdogan will continue, the world will see continued Iranian aggression against Israel, Sunnis, and Kurds, and the hold hat both Iran and Saudi Arabia have on Islam will only strengthen.

The Kurds are large in number (an estimated 40–50 million) and have a unique language, culture, and identity that differs markedly from their neighbors. The main problems in the region center around Islam versus Islam (Arab-Arab, Arab-Iran, Arab-Turk, Iran-Turk) or Islam versus minorities, including Christians, Yezidis, Chaldeans, Alevis, Jews, etc.

Kurds embrace Western values such as gender equality, religious freedom and human rights.

The Kurdish people have continually suffered in the Middle East.

The Turks, under the Ottomans killed tens of thousands of Kurds in massacres in Dersim and Zilan. By the 1990s, more than 3,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed. According to Human Rights Watch, 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced in Turkey.

The Kurds have a distinct language and, although Sunni Muslim, they are relatively secular. Within areas with majority Kurdish populations live Kurdish Jews, Shiites, Christians, and Yezidis. This diversity has shaped a tolerant nature within their society. The Kurds push for the separation of religion and state, and allow for churches, mosques, synagogues and temples to be built next to one another — a respect for the “other” rarely seen in the Middle East.

Under the dictatorships in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, the Kurds are still suffering from Arabization, Turkification, and the Iranian tactic of forcible land confiscation.

The Kurds are no strangers to having their historical territories taken over by such regimes; they therefore understand and respect minority rights. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has embraced its Jewish community, and rescued over 3,000 Kurdish Yezedis from ISIS when they were trapped on Mount Shingal in Mosul. Many Christians and minority communities have even requested they be part of the Kurdistan region after the state of Iraq failed them.

Read more here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9813/case-for-a-kurdish-state

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