Category Archives: History

The Case for a United States of Kurdistan, USK: Part 2

By Dr. M. Koohzad: PART 2 OF 2 Part 1 3. Kurdish-Centered Calls Kurdish nationalism predates Europeans organizing themselves into modern nation states. The uprisings for independence have their roots in the Ottoman Empire of the late 1820s. However, modern rebellions for independence began shortly after Ataturk founded his Turkish Republic and replaced the Ottoman dynasty….

Kurdistan’s Independence: From 4 to 1-State Solution – The Case for a United States of Kurdistan, USK

By Dr. M. Koohzad: PART 1 of 2 Introduction: The Kurdish political leadership in Erbil, the capital city of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, in Northern Iraq, was about to carry out a referendum to declare independence when Daesh, meaning Donkeys in Arabic, Jihadist terrorists – the so-called ISIS, showed up at their doorsteps….

Rojava, Back to the Future

By Dr. Jan Best de Vries: Around 3200 BPE, the agricultural, matriarchal cultures in West Asia and Europe were overthrown by nomadic, patriarchal tribes from the Russian and Siberian steppes. The members of peaceful communities were slaughtered and raped in the same way as the beasts of IS operate with their victims these days in…

The Weeping Snow

By Abdulkadir Saeed Sarchinary: Extracts from ‘The Weeping Snow’, a novel by Abdulkadir Saeed Sarchinary, translated by Yasin Aziz. This story is about the victims of the Halabja chemical attack. A child loses all his family and is taken to Esfahan, East Persia and grows up with a Persian family. After many years he goes…

The Dersim Massacre: Turkish Destruction of the Kurdish People in the Dersim Region

Shakhawan Shorash

By Shakhawan Shorash: There are many accounts of mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and genocide against defenseless minorities committed by state authorities and military forces in the multiethnic states in the twentieth century. Long term ethnic tensions and conflicts during the colonial period and after the end of colonialism continued in many countries, including Turkey, Iraq,…

In Eastern Turkey, Walking in the Shadow of Genocide

By John Lubbock: This article was first published by Global Voices In the week leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, British-Armenian historian Ara Sarafian led a group of students, academics and journalists on a mission to engage with local Kurds and the descendants of Armenians in the Kurdish region of Turkey. It…

Armenian-Kurdish Alliance for the Recognition of the Ottoman Genocide in Turkey

By Dr Amir Sharifi: Nothing is as mortal to the morals of the Turkish politicians as the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915. When many in the world were mourning and commemorating the centennial of the Armenian genocide with sorrowful indignation, the Turkish government paraded its usual April 23 pompous celebration of National Sovereignty…

A Few Days’ Life of Revolution in Halabja

By Yasin Aziz: Published on Amazon, 24th April 2015 This is the story of my generation’s experience from the time of the 1961 September (Aylul) Revolution. As a child in Halabja I witnessed most of what was happening when the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown, with the hope of a democratic government and equality for all…

Lost Armenian History: Unknown Island in Lake Van

By Dr. Amy L. Beam: The popular tourist attraction of Akdamar Island with its famous 10th century Armenian church is not the only island in Lake Van, Turkey.  There is a tiny island with a dark, lost history along the northeast coast.  Road signs show it is 40 km north of Van and 60 km…

Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s Post-War Era Chamran

By Ramyar Hassani: As the new Middle-East has become the battlefield of different extremist groups linked to the regional countries, Iran knows how to conduct proxy wars. The Sunni-Arab countries are on one side and Shiite-promoter Iran is on the other side of an ideological war. However, sometimes they are fighting from the same trenches and…

Kurdish Writer Yaşar Kemal Dies at Age 92

By Dr. Amy L. Beam: On February 28, 2015, Kurdish writer Yaşar Kemal, died in Istanbul at the age of 92.  He was born in Osmaniye Gökçeda in southeast Turkey on October 6, 1923.  One of the most famous writers in Turkey, Kemal was awarded 19 literary prizes during his lifetime and nominated for the Nobel…

Beytüşşebap Was Our Shingal

By Dr. Amy L. Beam: A year has passed since I went to a wedding in Beytüşşebap and promised to return with an interpreter.  Now there’s a new baby and Denize is getting married to her cousin in Van.  Only four months ago she had dressed up in her khaki guerilla clothes and Kurdish neck…

Fighting and Mourning for Kurdistan

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: Three years ago I wanted to travel to Aleppo and help there the wounded Kurdish, female and male freedom fighters in the northern district Sheik Maksud. Fate decided otherwise and now I’m teaching, with intervals of half a year, Kurdish history and archaeology at the Mesopotamia Academy in Qamishlo…

 Is IS Islam?

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: Now and then a bewildered Muslim in West Asia appears on Dutch TV saying “IS is not Islam”. It is a statement like “Adolf Hitler who murdered six millions Jews could not be a member of the Roman Catholic Church”. But he was. From my country, which is strongly…

De-islamization in a Free Kurdistan?

Dr. Jan Best de Vries: I am grateful that, as an outsider from Europe, in December 2014 I had the opportunity to relate in broad terms, to staff and students at the Mesopotamia Academy in Qamishlo, the history of the Kurds. When combining all the data from archaeology, history and linguistics at our disposal, one…