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Portrayal of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in U.S. Newspapers
Unformatted Document Text:  Background information about Kurdistan The Kurds are the largest minority in Iraq, making up six million of Iraq’s 31 million people. They are an ethno-linguistic group that has been divided among four countries, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran after the collapse of Ottoman Empire in World War l. The Kurds also exist in Lebanon and Russia in smaller numbers. There are at least 25 million Kurds around the world, making them the largest nation in the world without a state (O’Leary, 2002). After WWl, the Kurds of Iraq were very close to having their own country as a result of the 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies. But that was rescinded in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 (O’Leary). The reason behind that was the allies stopped backing establishing Turkish Kurdistan due to Turkish concession to claim no more its former Arab provinces and recognize of the British possession of Cyprus (Britannica academic edition, n.d.). The area of the Iraqi Kurdistan region is about 83,000 square kilometers, nearly the same size of Austria. Other minorities live within the Region like Assyria- Chaldeans, Turkmen, Arabs and Armenians ( Khalat, 2010). The Region includes three provinces Erbil, Duhok and Slemani. Erbil, also known as Arbil, is the capital of the Kurdistan Region. The majority of Iraqi Kurds are Sunni Muslims with a few Shiites, Yezidis, Shabaks and Christians who identify themselves as Kurds (Bruinessen, 1992 & McDowall, 2000). Kurds in Iraq speak Kurdish, which is their mother tongue, and have culture and traditions of their own. Throughout the history of Iraq, the Kurds were subject to cultural and political suppression, destruction, ethnic cleansing and genocide (Makiya, 1989, 1993; Rabil,

Authors: Ghafour, Goran.
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Background information about Kurdistan 
        The Kurds are the largest minority in Iraq, making up six million of Iraq’s 31 
million people. They are an ethno-linguistic group that has been divided among four 
countries, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran after the collapse of Ottoman Empire in World 
War l.  The Kurds also exist in Lebanon and Russia in smaller numbers.  There are at 
least 25 million Kurds around the world, making them the largest nation in the world 
without a state (O’Leary, 2002). After WWl, the Kurds of Iraq were very close to 
having their own country as a result of the 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the 
Ottoman Empire and the Allies. But that was rescinded in the Treaty of Lausanne in 
1923 (O’Leary). The reason behind that was the allies stopped backing establishing 
Turkish Kurdistan due to Turkish concession to claim no more its former Arab 
provinces and recognize of the British possession of Cyprus (Britannica academic 
edition, n.d.).  
     The area of the Iraqi Kurdistan region is about 83,000 square kilometers, nearly 
the same size of Austria. Other minorities live within the Region like Assyria-
Chaldeans, Turkmen, Arabs and Armenians (
 2010). The Region includes three 
provinces Erbil, Duhok and Slemani. Erbil, also known as Arbil, is the capital of the 
Kurdistan Region. The majority of Iraqi Kurds are Sunni Muslims with a few Shiites, 
Yezidis, Shabaks and Christians who identify themselves as Kurds (Bruinessen, 1992 & 
McDowall, 2000). Kurds in Iraq speak Kurdish, which is their mother tongue, and have 
culture and traditions of their own. 
     Throughout the history of Iraq, the Kurds were subject to cultural and political 
suppression, destruction, ethnic cleansing and genocide (Makiya, 1989, 1993; Rabil, 

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