1. a member of an Islamic people speaking Kurdish and dwelling chiefly in Kurdistan.


  1. a member of a nomadic people living chiefly in E Turkey, N Iraq, and W Iran

1610s, the people’s self-designation.

A linguistically and culturally distinct people who inhabit parts of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and the former Soviet Union. Once part of the Ottoman Empire, they long have sought an independent nation-state, but without success. After his defeat in the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein brutally repressed rebellious Kurds in northern Iraq.

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