Who are the Kurds? Is a future Kurdish state possible? Despite being more than 25 million strong, this Middle Eastern ethnic group has never had a country of its own. In this new series, we explore state-building efforts across the region and the implications of new alliances between Kurds and other actors in light of the fight against ISIS.
With a video explainer on the group's history, an in-depth feature from Michael Petrou on the state of affairs in Iraq, a field report from Emily Feldman in Turkey, an essay on unlikely alliances by John Mitton, a look at Kurdish female fighters from Marie Lamensch and an update from Evon Sworesho on minorities caught in the fault lines — this is The Making of Kurdistan.
In the series
The election of a Kurdish political party to the Turkish parliament last summer offered glimmers of respite in a 30-year war between the government and Kurdish militants. But renewed tension and violence have tempered any expectations of progress or peace, as Emily Feldman reports from Istanbul.
Western governments emphasize the importance of regional actors in devising a solution to Syria’s civil war, but the interests of those involved — from the Saudi government to the Kurds — are drastically different from our own.
Women fighting ISIS on behalf of Kurdish forces have diverse reasons for taking part in the war — but is their participation being used to romanticize the effort?
As Evon Sworesho explains, there are many actors involved in the anti-ISIS fight in Iraq, but some are more vulnerable than others.