/ kɝːd /
Množina reči Kurd je Kurds.
A native or inhabitant of a mountainous region of Western Asia belonging to the Turkish and Persian monarchies.
Member of the Kurdish culture, living mostly in the Taurus and Sagros mountains of E Turkey, W Iran, and N Iraq in the region called Kurdistan. Some 1 million Kurds were made homeless and 25,000 killed as a result of chemical-weapon attacks by Iraq 1984–89, and in 1991 more than 1 million were forced to flee their homes in N Iraq. They are predominantly Sunni Muslims, although there are some Shiites in Iran.
There are 12 million Kurds in Turkey, 5 million in Iran, 4 million in Iraq, 500,000 in Syria, and 500,000 in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. Several million live elsewhere in Europe. Although divided among several states, they have nationalist aspirations, and the growth of a pan-Kurdish movement has been helped by the recent move to towns (undertaken in search of work and to escape repression). A Kurdish parliament in exile was established in The Hague, the Netherlands, April 1995 by Kurdish exiles from Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, where the Kurds have suffered discriminatory legislation, as well as repression in several other countries, most brutally in Iraq. The Kurdish communities of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia suffer few restrictions on the use of their language and culture.
The Kurds were ruled in succession by the Medes, the Persians, the Parthians, and the Arabs from the 7th century. After accepting the Islamic faith after persecution by the Arabs, they won a degree of autonomy which they retained for several hundred years. During the 13th century, Saladin (Salah-ad-Din), a Kurd, emerged as the foremost leader in the struggle against the Crusaders. There was an ill-fated attempt to set up an autonomous Kurdish state within the Ottoman Empire during the 1880s. The Treaty of Sčvres 1920 provided a draft scheme for Kurdish independence, but Britain and France instead divided Kurdish territory between their Middle Eastern client states.