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The Making of Kurdistan

A series on the future and implications of a Kurdish state.

Series Contributors:
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks down the road to Makhmur that was retaken from the Islamic Sate, south of Erbil September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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

Video: Kurdistan Explained

Video: Kurdistan Explained

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Who are the Kurds? This short video explains what you need to know about the history of this Middle Eastern ethnic group, its state-building efforts and the conflicts surrounding it. Written and narrated by journalist Michael Petrou.

An uncertain future for minorities in a post-ISIS Iraq

An uncertain future for minorities in a post-ISIS Iraq

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As
Evon Sworesho explains, there are many actors involved in the anti-ISIS fight
in Iraq, but some are more vulnerable than others.

Why We Fight: How female combatants factor into Kurdish state-building

Why We Fight: How female combatants factor into Kurdish state-building

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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? 

In Turkey, dashed hopes and deepening rifts

In Turkey, dashed hopes and deepening rifts

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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. 

Out of Iraq’s ashes, Kurdistan grows

Out of Iraq’s ashes, Kurdistan grows

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Kurdish Iraqis have long
dreamt of a state to call their own. With the support of Canadian troops, they
are now gaining ground as the fight against ISIS continues. But what would their
independence mean for the region? 

Alliances of Convenience: The implications of a regional strategy against ISIS

Alliances of Convenience: The implications of a regional strategy against ISIS

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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.