19 Facts About Syrian Kurds


The majority of Syrian Kurds are originally Turkish Kurds who have crossed the border during different events in the 20th century.

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Many Syrian Kurds seek political autonomy for what they regard as Western Kurdistan, similar to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, or to be part of an independent state of Kurdistan.

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The majority of Syrian Kurds speak Kurmanji, a Kurdish dialect spoken in Turkey and northeastern Iraq and Iran.

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Syrian Kurds were later joined in Syria by a new large group that drifted out of Turkey throughout the interwar period during which the Turkish campaign to assimilate its Kurdish population was at it highest.

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The government has used the fact that some Syrian Kurds fled to Syria during the 1920s to claim that Syrian Kurds are not indigenous to the country and to justify its discriminatory policies against them.

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In other parts of the country during this period, Syrian Kurds became local chiefs and tax farmers in Akkar and the Qusayr highlands between Antioch and Latakia in northwestern Syria.

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Consequently, Syrian Kurds became majority in the districts of Tigris and Qamishli, while Arabs remained the majority in Hasakah district.

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Under the French Mandate of Syria, newly-arriving Syrian Kurds were granted citizenship by French Mandate authorities and enjoyed considerable rights as the French Mandate authority encouraged minority autonomy as part of a divide and rule strategy and recruited heavily from the Syrian Kurds and other minority groups, such as Alawite and Druze, for its local armed forces.

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Syrian Kurds established himself as the representative of the Kurds in Jazira maintaining the coalition with the Christian notables, who were represented by the Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni and Michel Dome the Armenian Catholic president of the Qamishli municipality.

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However, many of those Syrian Kurds who submitted their cards received nothing in return.

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Those Kurds who lost their citizenship were often dispossessed of their lands, which were given by the state to Arab and Assyrian settlers.

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Syrian Kurds troops crossed the Iraqi border and moved into the Kurdish town of Zakho in pursuit of Barzani's fighters.

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In 1965, the Syrian Kurds government decided to create an Arab cordon in the Jazira region along the Turkish border.

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In March 1986, a few thousand Syrian Kurds wearing Kurdish costume gathered in the Kurdish part of Damascus to celebrate the spring festival of Newroz.

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Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria was formed to represent Syrian Kurds based on two major conferences, one at the US Senate in March 2006 and the other at the EU parliament in Brussels in 2006.

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Syrian Kurds often speak the Kurdish language in public, unless all those present do not.

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The government claims that these Syrian Kurds settled down, gradually, in the region in cities like Amuda and Qamishli until they accounted for the majority in some of these cities.

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The government further speculated that Syrian Kurds intended to settle down and acquire property, especially after the issue of the agricultural reform law, to benefit from land redistribution.

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Stateless Syrian Kurds do not have the option of legally relocating to another country because they lack passports or other internationally recognized travel documents.

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