Basic information

The official name of Kurdistan is Iraqi Kurdistan or Southern Kurdistan (Kurdish:باشووری کوردستان‎, Başûrê Kurdistanê), also known as the Kurdistan Region (Kurdish: هه‌رێمی کوردستان‎, Herêmî Kurdistan). Kurdistan is a part of Iraq, but has an autonomous status. In relation to the Arabic part of Iraq, Kurdistan constitutes a federation.

The RIK borders Iran in the East, Turkey in the North, Syria in the West, and Iraq in the South. The overall area is estimated 40 643 km2 and the population is 5.3 million of inhabitants, which is comparable to the number of inhabitants in Denmark or Slovakia.

The formation of the Kurdish region dates back to May of 1970 when a mutual agreement between the representatives of the Kurdish opposition and Iraqi government was reached. In 1991, two main political parties – KDP and PUK – established a semi-autonomous regional government.

Kurdistan is a parliamentary democracy with a democratically elected Kurdish Parliament forming the main executive body. The Parliament consists of only a single Chamber. The main political institutions include the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdistan Region Presidency Office. The current administration is supervised by Nechervan Barzani – the Prime Minister. His deputy is Imad Ahmad Sayfour. The current President of Kurdistan is Masoud Barzani. He possesses the greatest executive power in the Kurdistan Region and, by the same token, is the supreme commander of the armed forces.

The Kurdistan Regional Government resides in Erbil – the capital of the Kurdistan Region.. Kurdistan is divided into four governorates. Besides Erbil, it is also Duhok, Silemani, and Halabja, and newly also Kirkuk Governorate controlled by the police and military. The currency is Iraqi Dinar (IQD).

The official languages of the Kurdistan Region are Kurdish and Arabic. Kurdish belongs to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. A great dialectical variety is a dominating feature of the language. Two major dialects constitute – Kurmanji (or Northern Kurdish) and Sorani (or Central Kurdish). Most of the inhabitants speak a number of dialects and languages. There are also many universities in Kurdistan, such as in Sulejmanija, Salahaddin University, University of Dohuk , University of Kurdistan, and many others.

The ethnical population in Kurdistan is diverse. The Kurdish, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmens, Arameans, and Arabs live there alongside each other. The average life span in Kurdistan is 70 years. The religious diversity in Iraqi Kurdistan is also rich. Islam is a dominating religion followed by the Kurdish, Iraqi Turkmens and Arabs. The Assyrians and Arameans follow Christianity. Nevertheless, Yezidism constitutes a significant minority.


Wikipedia                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kurds and Kurdistan
Kurdistan Regional Government