Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Herêma Kurdistanê  (Kurdish)
هه‌رێمی کوردستان  (Kurdish)
إقليم كردستان  (Arabic)
Anthem: "Ey Reqîb"
"Oh Enemy"
  Borders of the Kurdistan Region (disputed)   Kurdistan Region   Disputed incorporated territory   Other claimed and controlled territory   Other claimed territory   Rest of Iraq
  Borders of the Kurdistan Region (disputed)
  •   Kurdistan Region
  •   Disputed incorporated territory
  •   Other claimed and controlled territory
  •   Other claimed territory
  •   Rest of Iraq
Location of Iraqi Kurdistan
StatusAutonomous region
and largest city
Erbil (Hewlêr)
36°11′N 44°00′E / 36°11′N 44°00′E / 36.183; 44.000
Official languagesKurdish (Sorani)
Recognized languagesAssyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Armenian, Turkish[2][3]
Islam (Sunni and Shia), Christianity, Yazdânism, Zoroastrianism[4]
GovernmentParliamentary democracy
• President
Nechirvan Barzani
• Accord signed
March 11, 1970
• De facto autonomy
October 1991
• Regional government established
July 4, 1992
January 30, 2005
• Independence vote held in favor
September 25, 2017
• Total
46,861 km2 (18,093 sq mi)
• 2017 estimate
5,754,770 [5][a]
GDP (nominal)2016 estimate
• Total
$23.6 billion[6]
• Per capita
$7,700 [6]
HDI (2014)0.750[7]
CurrencyIraqi dinar (IQD)
Time zoneUTC+3 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed)
Driving sideright
Calling code+964
  1. ^ Only the population of the official territory consisting of the Iraqi governorates of Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniya and Halabja

Iraqi Kurdistan, officially called the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Kurdish: هه‌رێمی کوردستان‎, translit. Herêmî Kurdistan) by the Iraqi constitution,[8][9] is an autonomous region located in northern Iraq.[10] It is also referred to as Southern Kurdistan (Kurdish: باشووری کوردستان‎, translit. Başûrê Kurdistanê), as Kurds generally consider it to be one of the four parts of Greater Kurdistan, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Syria (Rojava or Western Kurdistan), and northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan).[11]

The region is officially governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), with the capital being Erbil. Kurdistan is a parliamentary democracy with its own regional Parliament that consists of 111 seats.[12] Masoud Barzani, who was initially elected as president in 2005, was re-elected in 2009. In August 2013 the parliament extended his presidency for another two years. His presidency concluded on 19 August 2015 after the political parties failed to reach an agreement over extending his term.

The new Constitution of Iraq defines the Kurdistan Region as a federal entity of Iraq, and establishes Kurdish and Arabic as Iraq's joint official languages. The four governorates of Duhok, Erbil, Silemani, and Halabja comprise around 46,861 square kilometres (18,093 sq mi) and have a population of 5.8 million (2017 estimate).[5] In 2014, during the 2014 Iraq Crisis, Iraqi Kurdistan's forces also took over much of the disputed territories of Northern Iraq; the total area under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government contains some 8 million inhabitants.

The establishment of the Kurdistan Region dates back to the March 1970 autonomy agreement between the Kurdish opposition and the Iraqi government after years of heavy fighting. However, that agreement failed to be implemented and by 1974 Northern Iraq plunged into the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War, another part of the Iraqi–Kurdish conflict between the Kurds and the Arab-dominated government of Iraq. Further, the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq War, especially the Iraqi Army's Al-Anfal Campaign, devastated the population and environment of Iraqi Kurdistan. Following the 1991 uprising of Kurds in the north and Shia Arabs in the south against Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurdistan's military forces, the Peshmerga, succeeded in pushing out the main Iraqi forces from the north.

Despite significant casualties and the crisis of Kurdish refugees in bordering regions of Iran and Turkey, the Peshmerga success and the Western establishment of the northern Iraqi no-fly zone following the First Gulf War in 1991 created the basis for Kurdish self-rule and facilitated the return of refugees. As Kurds continued to fight government troops, Iraqi forces finally left Kurdistan in October 1991, leaving the region with de facto autonomy. In 1992, the major political parties in the region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, established the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. The 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent political changes led to the ratification of a new constitution in 2005.


Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan

The name Kurdistan literally means "Land of the Kurds". The suffix -stan is Persian for "place of" or "country". In English translations of the Constitution of Iraq, it is called "Kurdistan", four times in the phrase "region of Kurdistan" and once in the phrase "Kurdistan region".[13][14] The regional government calls it the "Kurdistan Region".[9]

The full name of the government is the "Kurdistan Regional Government", abbreviated "KRG". Kurds also refer to the region as Başûrê Kurdistanê or Başûrî Kurdistan ("Southern Kurdistan"), referring to its geographical location within the whole of Kurdistan. During the Baath Party administration in the 1970s and 1980s, the region was called the "Kurdish Autonomous Region".[15]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: İraq Kürdüstanı
Bân-lâm-gú: Iraq Kurdistan
беларуская: Іракскі Курдыстан
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ірацкі Курдыстан
brezhoneg: Kurdistan Irak
Cebuano: Kurdistān
Bahasa Indonesia: Kurdistan Irak
Basa Jawa: Kurdhistan Irak
Kapampangan: Iraqi Kurdistan
Кыргызча: Ирак Күртстаны
لۊری شومالی: کوردئسوٙ عأراق
مازِرونی: کوردستون اقلیم
Bahasa Melayu: Wilayah Kurdistan Iraq
norsk nynorsk: Kurdistan i Irak
Sesotho: Kurdistan
Simple English: Iraqi Kurdistan
slovenčina: Iracký Kurdistan
српски / srpski: Јужни Курдистан
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Irački Kurdistan
Basa Sunda: Kurdistan Irak
Tiếng Việt: Kurdistan thuộc Iraq