Mountainous region in the Middle East, home to the Kurds

Coordinates: 37°00′N 43°00′E / 37.000°N 43.000°E / 37.000; 43.000

Kurdistan (Kurdish: کوردستان, Kurdistan; lit. "land of the Kurds") or Greater Kurdistan, in West Asia is the region where the Kurdish population is the ethnic and linguistic majority.

Emblem of the Kurds of Kurdistan
Emblem of the Kurds
Motto: ئازادی یان ئازادی, "An azadî, an azadî" (Kurdish)
(English: "Either freedom, or freedom")
Anthem: ئەی ڕەقیب, "Ey Reqîb" (Kurdish)
(English: "O Enemy")
Kurdish-inhabited areas (according to the CIA, 1992)
Kurdish-inhabited areas (according to the CIA, 1992)
  • Erbil (de facto; Kurdistan Region)
  • Kirkuk (de jure; Kurdistan Region)[1]
  • Mahabad (1945–1946; Republic of Kurdistan)
  • Kurdava (1927–1931; Republic of Ararat)
  • Sulaymaniyah (1921–1925; Kingdom of Kurdistan)
Common languagesKurdish languages
Zaza–Gorani languages
GovernmentKingdom in Kingdom of Kurdistan, republic in Republic of Ararat and Republic of Kurdistan, autonomous republic in Kurdistan Region
• Malik
Mahmud Barzanji (1921–1925; Kingdom of Kurdistan)
• President
Ibrahim Heski (1927–1931; Republic of Ararat)
• President
Qazi Muhammad (1945–1946; Republic of Kurdistan)
• President
Mustafa Barzani (2005–2017; Kurdistan Region)
• President
Nechirvan Barzani (2017–today; Kurdistan Region)
• Total
392,000[2] km2 (151,000 sq mi)
• Estimate
Today part ofTurkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria

In Turkey, the provinces of Ağrı, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Tunceli, Van, Batman, Şırnak and Iğdır Provinces are Kurdish majority population, while Urfa Province has 47%, and Kars Province has 20% Kurdish population.[4] In Iran, the provinces of Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan, Ilam,[5] and Kordestan Provinces are Kurdish majority population.


  1. Constitution of the Kurdistan Region,
    Article 5:

    The city of Kirkuk shall be the capital of the Kurdistan Region.

  2. Bois et al. 2002.
  3. "The Kurdish population". Kurdish Institute of Paris "The territory, which the Kurds call Northern Kurdistan (Kurdistana Bakur), has 14.2 million inhabitants in 2016. According to several surveys, 86% of them are Kurds, the remainder being Arab minorities (Urfa , Mardin, Siirt) and Turkish (mainly military , police and civil servants), as well as Syriacs and Armenians. [...] With the same methodology, Iranian Kurdistan reaches a population of about 10 million, or 12.5% of the population of Iran (80 million) in Iranian Kurdistan (Kordestan, Kermanshahan, Ilam and Western Azerbaidjan provinces). [...] For Iraqi Kurdistan more precise figures are available. By 2016 there were 5.4 million Kurds in the three governorates (Erbil, Duhok, Suleimanieh) in the Federated Kurdistan Region [...] Iraqi Kurdistan also contains Christian minorities (about 100,000) and Turkmen (500,000), as well as 1.8 million refugees and displaced persons. [...] In Syria, the civil war completely disrupted the demographic balance in the three Kurdish cantons (Djezirah, Kobane and Afrin) with an estimated population of 2.5 million."
  4. Watts 2010, p. 167.
  5. Courbage & Todd 2011, p. 74.


  • Bois, Th; Minorsky, V.; MacKenzie, D. N. (2002) [1960]. "Kurds, Kurdistān". Encyclopaedia of Islam (2 ed.). BRILL. ISBN 9789004161214. At present, the different provinces of Kurdistān cover around 190,000 km2 in Turkey, 125,000 km2 in Iran, 65,000 km2 in Irāḳ, and 12,000 km2 in Syria. The total area of Kurdistān can then be estimated at approximately 392,000 km2.
  • Watts, Nicole F. (2010). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey (Studies in Modernity and National Identity). Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-295-99050-7. The overwhelming majority of voters supporting pro-Kurdish candidates came from thirteen provinces: Ağri, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Tunceli, Van, Batman, Șırnak, and Igdır. In all these provinces the population is at least 50 percent Kurdish, and in all these provinces support for the parties was at least 20 percent in 2002. [...] In addition, provinces with sizeable Kurdish minorities such as Urfa (where about 47 percent of the population is estimated to be Kurdish) and Kars (about 20 percent Kurdish) also showed higher levels of support for Kurdish candidates and parties than areas in which Kurds constituted a small percentage of the population.
  • Courbage, Youssef; Todd, Emmanuel (2011). A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim Societies Around the World. Columbia University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-231-15003-3. Kurds are also a majority of the population in the provinces of Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan, and Ilam.