New CFR InfoGuide Explores Emergence of the Kurds

As Kurds strive for a greater role in Turkey and continue to resist the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has released a new interactive guide examining the Kurds’ growing prominence in the region.

June 4, 2015

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June 4, 2015—As Kurds strive for a greater role in Turkey and continue to resist the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has released a new interactive guide examining the Kurds’ growing prominence in the region.

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The Time of the Kurds

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Middle East and North Africa

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An estimated 30 million Kurds live in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and remain one of the world’s largest ethnic groups without a sovereign state. The destabilization of Iraq, the civil war in Syria, and the rise of the Islamic State present both challenges and opportunities for the Kurds. The latest InfoGuide in CFR’s multimedia explainer series, "InfoGuide: The Time of the Kurds," outlines these dynamics, their historical underpinnings, and how they could reshape the Middle East.

"It is striking how much the Kurds have emerged as important actors in the region, yet how relatively little is known about them," says CFR.org Editor Robert McMahon. "This guide aims to address that with a rich multimedia narrative told through video, maps, and graphics as well as text."

"InfoGuide: The Time of the Kurds" includes

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  • a ten-minute overview video narrating the story of the Kurds’ emergence, featuring rich imagery from Kurdish regions and insights from leading experts, including Henri Barkey of Lehigh University, CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook, and CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Meghan L. O’Sullivan;
  • a timeline tracing the history of the Kurds in the modern Middle East;
  • infographics, including a detailed map of the eight major Kurdish political parties; and
  • an interactive map displaying regions populated and governed by Kurds, their front lines against the Islamic State, and the locations of subterranean oil fields;
  • teaching guides and resources for educators.

This InfoGuide is the sixth in an award-winning series that also includes "The Taliban," "The Sunni-Shia Divide," "China’s Maritime Disputes," "Child Marriage," and "The Emerging Arctic." Produced by CFR.org’s editorial team, the guides use a responsive design for tablets and mobile devices. Multimedia sections are embeddable, including the overview video, map, and infographics. CFR’s interactive offerings also feature the Emmy Award–winning Crisis Guides and the Global Governance Monitor.

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Middle East and North Africa

Defense and Security

InfoGuides are made possible by funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

View "The Time of the Kurds" at www.cfr.org/kurds.

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CFR takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government. All views expressed in its publications and on its website are the sole responsibility of the author or authors.

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