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Kurdistan:see under KurdsKurds
, a non-Arab Middle Eastern minority population that inhabits the region known as Kurdistan, an extensive plateau and mountain area, c.74,000 sq mi (191,660 sq km), in SW Asia, including parts of E Turkey, NE Iraq, and NW Iran and smaller sections of NE Syria and
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a mountainous region of Southwest Asia inhabited primarily by Kurds. Most of Kurdistan is located within the confines of the Armenian and Iranian plateaus. The name “Kurdistan” is used chiefly in an ethnogeographical sense, since Kurdistan has no fixed borders. The first mention of Kurdistan dates from the 12th century. In 1514, as a result of wars, the Ottoman Empire and Iran divided Kurdistan between themselves. After World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, those parts of Kurdistan that had belonged to the empire became part of the states that arose on its territory: Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.