26 Facts About Kirkuk


Kirkuk is a city in Iraq, serving as the capital of the Kirkuk Governorate, located 238 kilometres (148 miles) north of Baghdad.

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Kirkuk sits on the ruins of the original Kirkuk Citadel which sits near the Khasa River.

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Kirkuk was proclaimed the "capital of Iraqi culture" in 2010.

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Kirkuk is considered by Iraqi Turkmens to be their cultural and historical capital.

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The government of Iraq states that Kirkuk represents a small version of Iraq due to its diverse population, and that the city is a model for coexistence in the country.

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Region around Kirkuk was known historically in the Eastern Aramaic and Syriac Assyrian sources as "Beth Garmai".

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Kirkuk avoided the troubles caused by the Kurdish nationalist Mahmud Barzanji, who quickly attempted to overthrow the British Mandate in Iraq and establish his own fiefdom in Sulaymaniyah.

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The IPC exercised significant political power in the city and played a central role in Kirkuk's urbanization, initiating housing and development projects in collaboration with Iraqi authorities in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Kirkuk, which had been a predominantly Iraqi Turkmen city, gradually lost its uniquely Turkmen character.

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Fuel oil reinjection has increased oil viscosity at Kirkuk making it more difficult and expensive to get the oil out of the ground.

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Pipelines from Kirkuk run through Turkey to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea and were one of the two main routes for the export of Iraqi oil under the Oil-for-Food Programme following the Gulf War of 1991.

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In 1970 the Iraqi government reached an agreement with Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani called the March Agreement of 1970, but the question of whether the oil-rich province of Kirkuk would be included within the Kurdish autonomous region remained unresolved, pending a new census.

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Arabs families were expelled from the Kurdish region and relocated to Kirkuk, which was still controlled by the Iraqi government.

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Kirkuk is located in a disputed area of Iraq that runs from Sinjar on the Syrian border southeast to Khanaqin and Mandali on the Iranian border.

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Kirkuk has been a disputed territory for around eighty years — Kurds wanted Kirkuk to become part of the Kurdistan Region, which has been opposed by the region's Arab and Turkmen populations.

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On 12 July 2013, Kirkuk was hit by a deadly bomb, killing 38 people in an attack on a cafe.

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On 21 October 2016, the Islamic State launched multiple attacks in Kirkuk to divert Iraqi military resources during the Battle of Mosul.

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Under Kurdish control, Turkmen and Arab residents in Kirkuk experienced intimidation, harassment and were forced to leave their homes, in order to increase the Kurdish demographic in Kirkuk and bolster their claims to the city.

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Turkmen residents of Kirkuk were detained by Kurdish forces and compelled to leave the city.

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Kirkuk has been a disputed territory for around eighty years.

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The KRG wants Kirkuk to become part of the Kurdistan Region, which is opposed by the region's Arab and Turkmen populations.

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Kirkuk's population was predominantly Turkmen in the early 20th century, when Turkish was the most common language spoken at home.

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Kirkuk remained under the control of the Seljuq Empire for 63 years.

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In particular, following the conquest of Iraq by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1535, Kirkuk came firmly under Ottoman control and was referred to “Gokyurt” in the Ottoman records, "perhaps indicating that Kirkuk was identified as a particularly Turkic town by that time.

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Kirkuk had a population near 30, 000 in the late 1910s, Turkmens were majority in the city center, dominating the political and economic life of the area.

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Architectural heritage of Kirkuk sustained serious damage during World War I and, more recently, during the Iraq War.

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