Ayaka O
Nov 14 · Last update 3 mo. ago.

Why are there so many Kurdish refugees ?

Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state and have been treated as a minority group in that region. Iraq is the only country which has an autonomous Kurdish region, known as Iraqi Kurdistan, while half of the regions kurdish population inhabit Turkey. They also inhabit in Syria, Iran and Armenia. Over the past few years the number of Kurdish refugees does not stop increasing. According to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), 28% of the Iraqi Kurdistan’s total population are refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). thekurdishproject.org/infographics/kurds-and-the-refugee-crisis
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Displacement under Saddam Hussein
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A displacement that started in the Ottoman Empire
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Turkey in Syria
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A history of division and denial of statehood
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The fight against Islamic States in Iraq in 2014 is one of the main reasons of Kurdish refugees
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Displacement under Saddam Hussein

One of many of history’s unrecognised genocides occurred against the Kurds in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein, this happened alongside the worst displacement campaign of Kurds also. As part of Ba’athist Arabization campaigns in Northern Iraq, 200,000 Kurds became displaced in just one year as villages were destroyed in order to change Northern Iraqi demographics to be Arab dominated. This led to millions of Kurds being displaced during Hussein’s time as leader, with the majority taken in by Iran, but a large amount settling across Europe and North America also. During this period many were unable to escape Hussein’s persecution as the Halabja Chemical Attack and Anfal Genocide devastated Iraq’s Kurdish community during the Iran-Iraq War, remaining one of many dark chapters in Kurdish history.

middleeasteye.net/opinion/anfal-dark-chapter-kurdish-history-haunts-survivors aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/iraqi-kurds-yesterday-victims-s-201431865247574237.html adst.org/2013/07/a-secret-betrayal-kurdish-refugees-in-iran

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 16
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A displacement that started in the Ottoman Empire

Although a large amount of Kurdish displacement has occurred in recent years modern Kurdish displacement goes much further back to the early 1900s under the Ottoman Empire. Under the Ottomans massive displacement, forced migration and mass mortality of minority groups became widespread from the late 18th century onwards, but it was Christian groups and Kurds that were targeted minorities during the First World War and the Turkish War of Independence, and this is when modern displacement of Kurdish populations began. This situation worsened after the formation of Turkey, as the Kurdish Rebellions of the 1920s/30s were met by the Turkish government with massacre and the expulsion hundreds of thousands of Kurds. A resurgence of such violence in the late 1970s has continued until present as Kurds continue to be displaced for seeking autonomy and statehood.

everything.explained.today/History_of_the_Kurds tc-america.org/media/Forced_Displacement.pdf en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_rebellions_in_Turkey#Kurdish%E2%80%93Turkish_conflict_(1978%E2%80%93present)

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 16
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Turkey in Syria

While Kurd’s have fled from Iraq due to ISIS in recent years, many Kurds are also fleeing TO Iraqi Kurdistan and elsewhere from Northern Syria, following Turkey entering into the Syrian Civil War along Syria-Turkish border. Most of the region occupied by Kurdish people falls within Turkish territory, and Turkey has officially banned Kurdish independence groups since the late seventies and continues to recognise the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê – Kurdish Workers’ Party) as a terrorist organisation. As Erdogan recognises Kurdish groups as terrorists Kurds were often treated with the same hostility as ISIS when Turkey escalated their offensive in Northern Syria in 2019, which was widely seen as ethnic cleansing internationally. Over 16 million people have become displaced in both Syria and Iraq over the last decade fleeing civil war and violence, but given Turkey’s fear of Kurdish independence many of the displaced will be Kurdish.

npr.org/2019/10/18/771219847/kurdish-syrians-flee-to-iraq newsweek.com/syria-turkey-erdogan-trump-kurds-1466506 stephenlendman.org/2019/12/turkish-ethnic-cleansing-in-northern-syria

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 16
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A history of division and denial of statehood

The Kurds are a divided people group spread over both the Taurus and Zagros mountain ranges of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, and to complicate matters further the region of Kurdistan is not purely Kurdish and never was, being home to Arab, Armenian, Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Jewish, Ossetian, Persian and Turkish communities also. While the Kurdish independence movement is a strong political force in Iraq, Kurds in other regions have not enjoyed the same level of autonomy and have sometimes been, or become, persecuted minorities especially in times of instability. In the last two decades the Middle East as a whole has become a much less stable place due to various wars and occupations waged against the people of this region, as a minority group Kurds are often more at risk so may be more likely to flee, leading to so many Kurds becoming displaced peoples. Arguably achieving statehood may help this situation as Kurdish groups may find it easier to defend borders without the complication of being a group within a state, but currently even the Iraq autonomous movement remains the closest but still far from uniting this divided group of people.

thekurdishproject.org/history-and-culture/kurdish-history reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3totqt/who_were_the_kurds_and_has_a_kurdish_state_ever sputniknews.com/middleeast/201709181057472145-iraq-maliki-tolerate-kurdistan-referendum

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 16
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The fight against Islamic States in Iraq in 2014 is one of the main reasons of Kurdish refugees

Since 2013 Kurds have been continuously fighting against attacks by Islamic State (IS). One of the remarkable events was an IS advance in northern Iraq in June 2014, when the government of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region sent its Peshmerga forces to areas abandoned by the Iraqi army. It caused, however, a surprise offensive by IS and the Peshmerga withdrew from several areas. As a result, a number of towns fell and the Iraqi Kurds inhabiting those areas had no options other than fleeing to pursue a safer life. bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29702440

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Ayaka O
Nov 14
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ajarisu edited this paragraph
Since 2013 Kurds have been continuously fighting against attacks by Islamic State (IS). One of the remarkable events was an IS advance in northern Iraq in June 2014, when the government of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region sent its Peshmerga forces to areas abandoned by the Iraqi army. It caused, however, a surprise offensive by IS and the Peshmerga withdrew from several areas. As a result, a number of towns fell and the Iraqi Kurds inhabiting those areas had no options other than fleeing to pursue a safer life. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29702440
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