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Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in Turkey

Kurd, Turkish-Speaking

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Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in Turkey map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
6,120,000 Turkish Islam 0.01 % 0.00 %   

Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in Turkey

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Introduction / History
The Kurds are a large ethnic group of about 25 million people who have always lived in the same place, and who trace their roots back to the Medes of ancient Persia the frontier of what is now Iraq, Iran and Turkey, more than 2,500 years ago. In fact, the Magi, or wise men, who traveled from the East to deliver their gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem were most likely Zoroastrian priests, ancestors of the modern Kurds. The Kurds are tribal people and many of them lived, until recently, a nomadic lifestyle in the mountainous regions of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Their refuge has always been the mountains, with their steep pastures and fertile valleys. They are Kurmânji speakers.

In the wake of World War I, with US President Woodrow Wilson's call for "self-determination" echoing loudly, the Kurds were promised a homeland - Kurdistan - in the Treaty of Sevres (1920). However, the victorious allies backed away from their pledge in an attempt to court the new Turkish regime of Kemal Ataturk, and in fear of destabilizing Iraq and Syria, which were granted to Britain and France, respectively, as mandated territories. The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne thus abrogated Kurdish independence and divided the Kurds among Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Ataturk's discrimination against Turkey's Kurdish population began almost immediately, with Kurdish political groups and manifestations of cultural identity banned outright. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the Kurds of Iran, with Soviet support, succeeded in establishing the first independent Kurdish state (the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad). But this was quickly crushed by Iranian troops.

Today, Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own. They are unevenly distributed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan. If the Middle East map were to be redrawn to give the Kurds their own boundaries, Kurdistan would be as large as France, stretching over 200,000 square miles.

What are their lives like?
Kurdish society consists mainly of tribes that arose from a nomadic and semi-nomadic way of life in previous centuries. It is strongly fragmented and is often split by internal disagreements. So far in history, the Kurds have never really managed to unite in their common cause. Their primary loyalty is to the immediate family, and then to the tribe. Tribe allegiance is, however, based on a mixture of kinship and territorial loyalty. Many Kurds of the lower regions are not organized in tribes, but even there, strife is common between the different clans and communities.

The Kurds of Iraq live along the country's northeastern borders with Turkey and Iran. Most are farmers and all but a few thousand have given up the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the past, in favor of settled farming. The Kurds of Iraq form more than 30% of the Iraqi population.

After having given their support to Iran in the war against Iraq in 1980, the Kurds experienced Saddam Hussein's terrible revenge, with the Iraqi government declaring war against the Kurds. This war would be known as "al-Anfal" ("The Spoils"), a reference to the eighth sura of the Qur'an, which details revelations that the Prophet Muhammad received after the first great victory of Islamic forces in AD 624. "I shall cast into the unbelievers' hearts terror," reads one of the verses; "so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them ... the chastisement of the Fire is for the unbelievers."

Anfal, officially conducted between February 23 and September 6, 1988, would have eight stages altogether. For these assaults, the Iraqis mustered up to 200,000 soldiers with air support -- matched against Kurdish guerrilla forces that numbered no more than a few thousand. In this war 200 000 Kurds were killed and 5,000 of their villages and towns were destroyed. Among other incidents, 5,000 inhabitants were killed by chemical warfare when Saddam forces attacked the Kurdish town of Halabja, in March 1988. The anti-Kurdish campaign was both genocidal and gendercidal in nature. "Battle-age" men were the primary targets of Anfal, according to Human Rights Watch / Middle East. The organization writes in its book Iraq's Crime of Genocide: "Throughout Iraqi Kurdistan, although women and children vanished in certain clearly defined areas, adult males who were captured disappeared en masse. ... It is apparent that a principal purpose of Anfal was to exterminate all adult males of military service age captured in rural Iraqi Kurdistan" (pp. 96, 170). Only a handful survived the execution squads.

The Kurds of Syria make up about 10% of the Syrian population. They live in two separate enclaves along the northern border with Turkey. In an effort to dilute the Kurdish population, Syria has relocated large numbers of them, perhaps 100,000 or more, into southern Syria and has settled them among the Arab population. By forcing Kurds to resettle and disperse, the Syrian government hopes to assimilate them into the larger Arab society and thus avoid a potential threat.

What are their beliefs?
It has been said that Kurds "hold their Islam lightly", meaning that they are not so vehement about Islam, and they do not identify as closely with it as Arabs do. This is perhaps due to several factors, one being that many Kurds still feel some connection with the ancient Zoroastrian faith, and they feel it is an original Kurdish spirituality that far predates the seventh century AD arrival of Muhammad. Nonetheless, most Kurds are Muslims, and today about three-quarters are members of the majority Sunni branch (at least nominally). As many as four million Kurds are Shiite Muslims, living mostly in Iran where the Shiite faith is predominant.

What are their needs?
In Turkey, where the largest contingent of Kurds live (40 %), the Kurds are seen as a threat by the Turkish government, which has continually sought to assimilate the Kurds into Turkish society through forced resettlement. Until recently, it was a crime to speak Kurdish in public.

Tribalism is still a factor among Kurds, promoting many different factions which weaken the possibility of an independent homeland. The Kurds in Iraq have hurt their own cause infighting between the two primary parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Although the engagement of the UN in northern Iraq has necessarily also given continuity to the political cause of the Kurds, the question of Kurdish autonomy remains unresolved. One possible solution to this problem is to achieve genuine agreement on some kind of self-government.

View Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-10-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-03-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-11-23
  Submit Update:
Country: Turkey
Continent: Asia
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Rank:31 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Widespread in Turkey as L1 or L2
(Source: Ethnologue 2010)
   
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Kurd, Turkish-Speaking
People Name General: Kurd, Turkish-Speaking
Alternate People Names:
Turkish Kurd
ROP3 Code: 114402
Joshua Project People ID: 18756
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 6,120,000
Population all Countries: 6,120,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Kurd
People Name General: Kurd, Turkish-Speaking
Ethnic Code: CNT24c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Turkish (6,120,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tur    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.99 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant10.00 %
Orthodox50.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic30.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1782-1985
New Testament:
1819-1993Audio
Complete Bible: 1827-2006
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoBir Ibadet Toplantisi (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoFollowers of Isa (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Turkish
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMore Than Dreams-Ali (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (Indigitube.tv)
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGoodSeed
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Turkish, Kutsal Kitap Yeni Ceviri
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in Turkey

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Kurd     Central Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Kurd, Turkish-Speaking Turkey    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kurd, Turkish-Speaking in Turkey          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Turkish  
    Global    
Language
 
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Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=18756&rog3=TU