Dossier: Kurdistan

Peshmerga fighters in Iraq (photo: Reuters)

The Peshmerga fight against IS militia

An unpredictable enemy

The Kurdish Peshmerga have limited tools in hand for their fight against the IS terror militia: they are for the most part poorly equipped, military co-ordination with the Americans is sluggish and US air strikes have thus far had little impact. By Karim El-Gawhary in IraqMore

Performance of the Kurdish play "The Pains of Language" in Berlin (photo: Jillian Hoppe)

The Kurdish theatre company Teatra Si

Out of the cellars and onto the stage

The Kurdish-language theatre scene has been developing in Turkey since the 1990s. One group committed to promoting Kurdish language and art is Teatra Si, a theatre company from Istanbul. Ceyda Nurtsch met with its members in Berlin at the start of their European tourMore

A Persian "Haft Sin" table featuring seven foods and objects all beginning with the letter "s" (photo: Imago/UPI Photo)

Nowruz: one of the world's oldest festivals

"My paleness is yours, your colour is mine!"

The Iranian New Year celebration "Nowruz" has been a feature of Persian culture for more than 2,500 years. The roots of this festival lie in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Today, more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz. Shohreh Karimian looks back at the history of this new year celebration and explains some of its customsMore

Worker on an oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan (photo: dpa)

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

Erdogan's Kurdish Gambit

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan envisions a new regional order under Turkish leadership, based on a realignment between Turks and Kurds that underpins a strategic partnership for exploiting the region's last untapped energy resources. By Sinan UlgenMore

Soldiers seen standing in front of the Iraqi (left) and Kurdish (centre) flags (photo: DW/K. Zurutuza)

On-going Sectarian Tension in Kirkuk

Stranded in Legal Limbo

Claimed by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen alike, the oil-rich province of Kirkuk remains one of Iraq's most disputed and politically flammable regions ten years after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Karlos Zurutuza spoke to the most senior representatives of the region's different communities about the province's diverse problemsMore

Anti-government demonstration in Ramadi, Iraq, in February 2013 (photo: Reuters)

Iraq Ten Years after Saddam

Disenchanted Nation

Ten years after the start of the Iraq War and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi reviews developments in the country and considers whether things are better or worse now than they were before the Allied invasionMore

Kurds celebrating the announcement of the PKK peace plan in Diyarbakir (photo: Reuters)

Öcalan Announces PKK Peace Plan

Too Good to Be True

The offer of a ceasefire made by Abdullah Öcalan, the incarcerated head of the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), has been welcomed by the Turkish government. But how can there be real peace when the conflicts of the past are glossed over instead of being openly discussed and addressed? A commentary by Ömer ErzerenMore

Turkish soldiers in the Kurdish territory Hakkari, close to the Iraqi border (photo: ddp images/AP Photo/Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Presidential Press Service)

Peace Negotiations between Turkey and the PKK

Kurdish Conflict Threatens Erdogan's Legacy

Turkey's head of government Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led his nation into the modern age. He could bask in his success, but while skyscrapers shoot up in Istanbul, other parts of Turkey still languish at levels comparable to those of developing countries. The Kurdish conflict is partly to blame, and if Erdogan is to avoid squandering his achievements, he must at last secure peace. Commentary by Christiane SchlötzerMore

Syrian refugees at the Domiz refugee camp (photo: Jan Kuhlmann)

The Domiz Refugee Camp in North Iraq

The Agony of the Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees are flocking in ever-greater numbers to the neighbouring countries, fleeing from the violence at home. In the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraqi, 700 new people arrive every day. But the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and the Kurdish autonomy government are unable to provide for them. A report by Jan KuhlmannMore

A member of the PKK warms herself by the fire at a camp in the Qandil mountains near the Turkish border with northern Iraq (photo: AP)

Alliance between the PKK and the Assad Regime

A Political Sect on the Wrong Track

Just as the Assad regime is foundering, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, is proving to be its loyal henchman. In this essay, Stefan Buchen writes that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan made a deal with the Syrian regime back in the days of Hafez al-AssadMore

Statue of a man holding a book (photo: DW/Munaf al-Saidy)

The Iraqi Education System

Education in an Age of Terror

Once renowned throughout the Arab world for the importance it attached to good education, Iraq and its education system have suffered enormously since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein nine years ago. Many intellectuals fled abroad or into the provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan, triggering change in the education system there. Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore

Shefat and her brother Omar (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Syrian Refugees in Iraq

Exodus into the Unknown

Birgit Svensson visits a refugee camp in Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan where she finds Shefat and her brother Omar: they want to tell the world about the terrible things that are happening to the Syrian peopleMore

Twitter Website (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

Social Media in Turkey

Circumventing Censorship

A growing number of young Turks are turning to social media, complaining that mainstream media are being increasingly controlled by the government. Dorian Jones reports from IstanbulMore

Turkish soldiers in the Turkish–Iraqi border region (photo: AP)

Turkey's Kurdish Policy

The Return of the Hardliners

Just a few years ago, it looked as if the government in Istanbul was embarking on a policy of reconciliation with Turkey's Kurdish population. But that dynamic of reform has long since stalled and trouble is brewing, as Ömer Erzeren reportsMore

Zinciriye Madrasa in the old city of Mardin (photo: Sonja Galler)

Kurdish Language Studies in Turkey


A Radical Change in Quiet Stages

The walls may be ancient, but the students are young: the Zinciriye Madrasa in Mardin already offers a Masters in Kurdish Language and Culture and is now to start offering a Bachelors programme. It's a quiet but remarkable change in the Turkish university system. Sonja Galler reportsMore

Protests in Syria (photo: AP)

Political Unrest in Syria

Risk of Kurdish Uprising Puts Regional Powers on Alert

The Syrian Kurds may not remain on the sidelines for much longer after being dragged into the uprising against the al-Assad regime. But their influence on the future of Syria and the Middle East is hard to determine. By Nick AmiesMore