Posted by: hevallo | May 4, 2008

Why southern Kurdistan is not ‘northern Iraq’!

Why it is southern Kurdistan and not ‘northern Iraq’ (by Raz Jabary)

The reason why the term southern Kurdistan is regarded as disputed by countries with their own respectful Kurdish populations is simply that it indicates ‘other’ Kurdistans with its remaining cardinal directions.

However, it has to be noted that this phenomenon ought not to be a concrete obstacle towards the factual recognition of the formerly named area, with several main verifications and falsifications of why this is, as outlined below in a short analysis:

The former reason why the term ‘northern Iraq’ is flawed is the fact that its geographical meaning comprises a much wider scope of reference then intended to. ‘Northern Iraq’ could refer to main places like Bayji, Fathah, Hadr, Hammam al Alil, Tall Huqnah and of course Tikrit, the birthplace of the former Arab Iraqi dictator and still a main stronghold for neo-Ba’athists in Iraq.

All of these places lie both outside the formal borders of the Kurdistan Region and are not part of main geographical and historical Kurdish inhabited spots. In the same way, north-eastern Holland is not similar to Friesland, the north of Spain does not resemble Basque Country, and, the west of Great Britain does not necessarily refer to Wales.

The fact is that historical, geographical and ethnic-based Kurdish places like Xaneqin and Kifri are further southerly located than the places mentioned above. It follows that the use of the term ‘northern Iraq’ does not only refer to a too wide a scope, but in fact also misses out on not comprising main Kurdish places like the ones just mentioned.

This is explained by the fact that the Kurdish/non-Kurdish border areas that run from northern Kurdistan through to western, southern and eastern Kurdistan are namely not in any way placed in line with the global parallels but in fact extend down at an angle to these parallels.

It is furthermore a legitimate invalidation of the use of the term ‘northern Iraq’ that brings to mind its incorrectness based on the national Iraqi and regional Kurdish constitutions that both present the political and geographical verification of Kurdistan in an official manner. To initiate with, Article 4 of Chapter one of the Iraqi constitution refers clearly to federal agencies and institutions in the region as being located in the ‘region of Kurdistan’. In total, the term ‘Kurdistan’ is used four times throughout the constitution (Chapter one; articles 4 and 113, Chapter two; article 137).

In conclusion, when referring to southern Kurdistan, the term ‘northern Iraq’ is geographically, legislatively and politically flawed in a sense that it both misses out and excessively includes places not intended to, and, follows no official reference in both constitutions that are enacted in Kurdistan, resulting in the legislative and political incorrectness of the term.



  1. Only problem is the heterogeneous populations of the region. Parts what Kurds see as Kurdistan, are inhabited by non-Kurdish christians. Who are later described as Kurdistani christians, while they themselves describe it as chaldean/assyrian/etc christians. Parts of mosul are Arabic. Some Yezidi don’t consider themselves Kurds. And in ‘eastern’ Turkey there are also big non-Kurdish Arabic populations and Turkmen tribe, etc. The borders of a ‘Kurdistan’ are not defined well and changed in time, due to the change of populations.

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