http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年11月05日 11:31
Kurdistan (“Land of the Kurds”) is a strategically important, mountainous region covering large sections of Turkey, Iraq and Iran, plus smaller parts of Syria and Armenia. The region is the ancient homeland of the Kurds, non-Arabic Sunni Muslims who speak a language closely related to Persian.
The region corresponds to an ancient kingdom called Gutium, noted in cuneiform records dating to 2400 B.C. More than 20 million Kurds live in the Kurdistan region, comprising one of the world's largest ethnic groups without their own country.
Kurds were promised independence when the Ottoman Empire was dismantled by the Treaty of Sevres after World War I. That promise remains unfulfilled, and other countries formed by the treaty's mandates have been entangled in the Kurds' struggle to unite their homeland.
Turmoil and tensions remain today, especially along the border between Turkey and Iraq. Rival factions among the Kurds have also added to the region's instability.