Kurds (Kurdish: کورد, Kurd) or Kurdish people are an Iranian[33][34][35] ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.[36] There are exclaves of Kurds in Central Anatolia, Khorasan, and the Caucasus, as well as significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey (in particular Istanbul) and Western Europe (primarily in Germany). The Kurdish population is estimated to be between 30 and 45 million.[2][37]

Kurd کورد
Total population
30–40 million[1]
(The World Factbook, 2015 estimate)
36.4–45.6 million[2]
(Kurdish Institute of Paris, 2017 estimate)
Regions with significant populations
 Turkeyest. 14.3–20 million[1][2]
 Iranest. 8.2–12 million[1][2]
 Iraqest. 5.6–8.5 million[1][2]
 Syriaest. 2–3.6 million[1][2]
 Germany1.2–1.5 million[3][4]
 United Kingdom49,841[12][13][14]
 United States20,591-40,000[22]
In their different varieties: Sorani, Kurmanji, Pehlewani, Laki[28]
Zazaki, Gorani[29]
Predominantly Sunni Islam
with minorities of Shia Islam, Kurdish Alevism, Yazidism, Yarsanism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity[30][31][32]
Related ethnic groups
Other Iranian peoples

Kurds speak the Kurdish languages and the Zaza–Gorani languages, which belong to the Western Iranian branch of the Iranian languages.[38][39]

After World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. However, that promise was broken three years later, when the Treaty of Lausanne set the boundaries of modern Turkey and made no such provision, leaving Kurds with minority status in all of the new countries.[40] Recent history of the Kurds includes numerous genocides and rebellions, along with ongoing armed conflicts in Turkish, Iranian, Syrian, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds in Iraq and Syria have autonomous regions, while Kurdish movements continue to pursue greater cultural rights, autonomy, and independence throughout Kurdistan.

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