KURDISTANICA logoThe Encyclopaedia of Kurdistan, KURDISTANICA is a digital information and database focusing on the Kurdish People. The Encyclopaedia of Kurdistan Network "KURDISTANICA" is a virtual organization in the form of a Global Academic/Professional Open Network for the creation and development of a multilingual Kurdish encyclopaedia on the World Wide Web. KURDISTANICA is an independent, non-partisan, non-political, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge about and for the Kurds.

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Exploring Kurdish Origins

The question of Kurdish origins, i.e., who the Kurds are and where they come from, has for too long remained an enigma. Doubtless in a few words one can respond, for example, that Kurds are the end-product of numerous layers of cultural and genetic material superimposed over thousands of years of internal migrations, immigrations, cultural innovations and importations. But identifying the roots and the course of evolution of present Kurdish ethnic identity calls for a greater effort. It calls for the study of each of the many layers of these human movements and cultural influences, as many and as early in time as is currently possible. And to achieve this, one needs to delve deep into antiquity, and debate notions as diverse as anthropology, linguistics, genetics, theology, economics and demography, not to mention simple old narrative history.

An Independent Kurdistan?

Robert Olson, Professor of Middle East Politics, University of Kentucky

Due to the strong resistance to the US occupation of Iraq and the internecine hostility that has resulted between Arabs and Kurds, reports in the public media have raised the possibility of the Kurds declaring an independent state. While the Kurds have made great strides in state formation developments since the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003, their achieving of independence remains problematic.

The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880-1925

By Robert Olson, University of Texas Press, Austin

The Sheikh Said rebellion was the first large-scale nationalist rebellion by the Kurds. The role of the Azadi was fundamental in its unfolding. Kurdish intellectuals and military officers lay at the heart of the nationalist movement, in terms of organization and recruitment. The paramount influence of the more secular or non-cleric Kurdish nationalist organizations must be separated from the rebellion itself and its "sheikhly" leadership. The Sheikh Said rebellion was led largely by sheikhs, a deliberate determination by the leadership of Azadi from 1921 onward.

Internal Subdivisions

By Prof. M.R. Izady

Kurdistan can be divided historically, and on a socio-economic, cultural, and political basis, into five major subdivisions: southern Kurdistan centered historically on the city of Kirmanshâh, central Kurdistan centered on Arbil, eastern Kurdistan centered on Mahabad, northern Kurdistan centered on Bâyazid, and western Kurdistan centered on Diyârbakir. The two large, detached Kurdish enclaves in Khurdsân and central Anatolia merit separate treatment.

Khurasani Kurdish Exclave in the 19th Century

By Prof. M. R. Izady

This detached exclave of Kurdish inhabited land is found on the modern northeastern borders of Iran with Turkmenistan in what has been historically known as northern sector of the province of Khurasan (the “land of rising sun”).  

How can I get involve with projects such as KAL and KURDISTANICA so that I might be able to contribute to this good cause?

One thing that Individuals/organisations can do to support projects like KAL and KURDISTANICA is to ask their friends, colleagues or fellow organizational members to get involve in turning hard copy material into electronic (scanning, typing etc.). If you are conversant in other relevant languages, you can help translate texts from English into Persian, Turkish, Arabic (and vice versa), as well as proof-reading English translations. These types of contribution make the information available to all others whose linguistic knowledge is limited.

Kurdish-Turkish Dictionary


The followers of Yârsânism, also known as the Yârisân, Aliullâhi, Ali-llâhi (i.e., "those who deify Ali"), Alihaq, Ahl-i Haqq ("the People of Truth") or Ahl-i Haq ("the People of the Spirit" [Hâk or Haqj), Sha Ytânparass (devil-worshippers), Nusayri ("the Nazarenes," i.e., Christians), etc-, are concentrated in southern Kurdistan in both

Treaty of Qasri Shirin, 17 May 1639

The Treaty of Zohab
"17 May 1639"

Text of the Letter by Envoys of Sultan Murat IV to the Envoys of Shah Safi I, containing the Ottoman Boundary Claims with Persia

Reaffirmed, 4 September 1746, 28 July 1823, 31 May 1847
Translation is from the text composed for the Ottoman delegation
[British and Foreign State Papers, 105: 763-66, 1847]

Manifesto of the Kurdish People

Manifesto of the Kurdish People
for the Creation of a Free, Independent and Unified Homeland 1996

Justice dictates that all nations are inherently equal and entitled to the same natural rights. That some nations are under the involuntary dominance of others presents an unnatural state and a source of imbalance in the lives of people and nations. Insomuch as voluntary unions are moral, legitimate and a source of prosperity and harmony, forced unions are immoral, illegitimate and harbingers of poverty and strife. Nations have the fundamental and natural right to determine the course of their own future.

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