History of world’s largest, stateless ethnic group. Turkish/Kurdish problems (discrimination, violence, ethnic strife).
With 25 million members, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own state. The Kurds have lived for thousands of years in a geographic area that is now part of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the former Soviet Union, sharing a similar language, religion and culture with these ethnic and national groups (Omestad, Kaplan, & Lovgren, 1999). Today, the 15 million or more Kurds living in Turkey constitute about 25 percent of that country’s population; more significantly, however, the Kurds in Turkey, Iran and Iraq, have constituted a source of internal tension and have been a target for genocidal hostilities. For Turkey, the presence of a substantial population of Kurds with nationalist and separatist aspirations has fostered domestic dissent and international criticism.