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A Brief Guide to Understanding the Kurds

May 23, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
It has been said that the Kurds are a nation without borders at the crossroads of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, though that is only partly true. Citizenship is not always so simple a matter.
In 2005, Kurds in northern Iraq chose who would represent them in their legislature as well as in the Iraqi legislature. It has been said that the Kurds are a nation without borders at the crossroads of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, though that is only partly true. Citizenship is not always so simple a matter.
(PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

It has been said that the Kurds are a nation without borders, though that is only partly true. They are, of course, citizens of any number of countries, ones that envelop their homeland in the Middle East and ones much farther afield. But for the Kurds -- a nation of some 25 million people who, despite their shared culture, speak different languages, practice different religions, subscribe to different political ideologies and hold different passports -- citizenship is not such a simple matter. It would be more accurate to say that Kurds, having assimilated into countries they do not consider their own, tend to be citizens in name but not in practice. And they are subject, therefore, to discrimination and outright oppression....

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