Resources

This bibliography consists mainly of current materials and is intended to equip people doing activist work around Rojava and Turkey's war on the Kurds, and is not meant to be more than a guide to those just getting into the subject. 

The Kurds: Introduction

Hamit Bozarslan, “The Kurds and Middle Eastern ‘State of Violence’: the 1980s and 2010s,” May 2014, Kurdish Studies.

A comparison of the situation of the Kurds in the 1980s, when they were the subordinate players of violent      Middle Eastern states, and the present, when they have achieved relative autonomy, albeit through horrible violence, in Iraq and Syria, and strengthened their position in Turkey. (This was written in 2014, before the crackdown in Turkey.)

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The Time of the Kurds,” A CFR InfoGuide Presentation, 2017, Council on Foreign Relations.

Interactive guide to all parts of Kurdistan, with maps, histories, statistics, flashpoints. A good introduction.

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Henry Barkey, “Kurdish Awakening: Unity, Betrayal, and the Future of the Middle East,”

April 2019, Foreign Affairs.

A survey of all the changes in the different parts of Kurdistan since the Iraq War, beginning by tracing the history and concluding that the Kurds are now experiencing a cultural and political renaissance that cannot be reversed.

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Guney Yildiz, "Kurdistan: A State or a State of Mind," September 2017, The Cairo Review.

Guney Yildiz lays out the history and political differences that divide the KDP, the party that leads Iraqi Kurdistan, and the PKK and YPG in Turkey and Syria. This article is particularly important as background for those new to the politics of the region.

The Kurdish Project: One Hundred Years of Sykes-Picot

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was secretly negotiated by a British officer and a French diplomat in 2016. When it was signed into law, countless families, communities and entire ethnic groups were divided — causing many of the issues in the Middle East that persist to this day.

To Explore in Detail: