History of Turkey, Armenia, and the Kurdish people

By way of background about Turkey, an Oct. 21, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “ISIS fight: Outside help for Kurds in Kobani could mark turning point: Turkey to let Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq cross into Syria as U.S. air-drops supplies.”

An Oct. 26, 2014 Reuters article is entitled: “Syrian Kurds repulse Islamic State attack on border gate.”

A Nov. 1, 2014 Guardian article is entitled: “Kurdish peshmerga forces arrive in Kobani to bolster fight against Isis: 150 troops with heavy artillery cross into Syria after brief delay on Turkish side of border.”

Armenian massacres, 1915-1923

Also of relevance regarding the history of the region are accounts of Armenian massacres, 1915-1923, including Armenian Golgotha, 1st ed. (2009).

Kurds: Through the Photographer’s Lens (2008)

Of related interest is: Kurds: Through the Photographer’s Lens (2008).

The beginning of the opening paragraph, after the Preface, reads:

  • The land known as Kurdistan presently comprises parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Caucasus. It is a land of stark beauty but also one engulfed in conflict. For centuries, empires, states and warring tribes have fought for control of this most inaccessible mountainous region with varying degrees of success. Yet throughout this time one ethnic group predominated over all others. They are the ‘Kurds’, a people who have come to be known for their independent and warrior-like spirit. Today, they constitute the largest ethnic people never to have formed themselves into a state. Yet, despite repeated attempts by surrounding states to deny their culture or assimilate Kurds into officially backed cultures their unique identity persists.

[End of excerpt]

Among its profiles and documentary photographs, this book, which provides an evocative and informative introduction to the history of the Kurds, highlights the comments of a 20-year-old Kurdish woman, Newal, who is fighting on the frontline.

Newal attended school until she was 16, after which she stayed home and helped around the house.

“When I look back,” she remarks, “I realize that I have so much more liberty now than I did then, especially as a woman.”

She adds: “Although I am fighting for the Kurdish culture, I am also fighting against aspects of it.”

The book is available at the Toronto Public Library.

“The Real Amazons”

An Oct. 17, 2014 New Yorker article is entitled: “The real Amazons.”

Oct. 25, 2014 CBC article via Associated Press

An Oct. 25, 2014 CBC article (from Associated Press) reads: “ISIS fight: Women battling militants on the front lines in Syria, Iraq: It’s an unusual phenomenon in the Muslim world, in which warfare is often associated with manhood.”

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