The Kurdish people, or Kurds (Kurdish: کورد, Kurd), are an ethnic group in Western Asia, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
They are an Iranian people and speak the Kurdish languages, which are members of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. The Kurds number about 30 million, the majority living in West Asia, with significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia, Lebanon and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States.
The Kurds have had partial autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991. Nationalist movements in the other Kurdish-populated countries (Turkey, Syria, Iran) push for Kurdish regional autonomy or the creation of a sovereign state.
Kurdistan ( (listen) (help·info) "Land of the Kurds"; also formerly spelled Curdistan; ancient name: Corduene) is a roughly defined geo-cultural region wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population, and Kurdish culture, language, and national identity have historically been based. Contemporary use of Kurdistan refers to large parts of eastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Iranian Kurdistan) and northeastern Syria (Western Kurdistan) inhabited mainly by Kurds. Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges, and covers small portions of Armenia.
Iraqi Kurdistan first gained autonomous status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, and its status was re-confirmed as an autonomous entity within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005. There is a province by the name Kurdistan in Iran; it is not self-ruled.