Centuries of Antagonism

Monday, April 20, 2020

Who are the Kurds/Yazidis? 

Aysha Rasha, 20th April

On February 3, the New York Times quoted the desperate plea of a Yazidi, a member of an ethnic-religious group facing communal extermination in the hands of ISIS terrorists. In simple, but moving terms he summed up the plight of his people, ‘Please help us. They are killing us and kidnapping our women and children.’

Nadia Murad was one of the victims. She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, where she was beaten up, burned with cigarettes, and raped. She successfully escaped as a Muslim family living nearby helped her with the abscond. 

HISTORY

Times before and during the Ottoman rule, the Kurds lived in the regions of present day Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. The Ottoman rulers were unsparing with the forced conversion and these ppl had to outwardly behave as converts. This ethnic-religious group was classified into Muslim, Jewish and Yazidi Kurdish-speaking people.



After the decline of the Ottoman empire, the Kurds had requested for an autonomous nation for them, named Kurdistan. They had put this forward to France and Britain as there was no intergovernmental organisation like the UN, at that time. The countries had skeptically accorded to this in the beginning as they signed the Treaty of Sevres. But later, the Sykes-Picot agreement stipulated that the territories will be shared among France and Britain, the rest being tiny bits of present day Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, which was given to the Kurds to inhabit.

Kurds were large in population and weren’t allowed to extant by any of the regions. Mainly, Turkey was the country that had the notion of ravaging them, as it was an irresistible impulse for the Ottoman dynasty. This was when the ISIS has come in with the aim of turning Syria into a 100% Muslim nation. The Kurdish people had decided to fight the ISIS by joining hands with the Syrian military. America had shown support for this and called for Turkey to refrain from disrupting them.They successfully defeated the ISIS and held many captives after facing traumatic, excruciating damages. But now, America has withdrawn support after achieving  their objective of subjugating the ISIS. So the hassles with Turkey has started. Russia has declared its support for the Syrians, America on the other hand, for Turkey.



References



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