WHO WE ARE
The Kurds are one of the indigenous people of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what are now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia, make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but have never obtained a permanent nation state.
In the early 20th Century, many Kurds began to consider the creation of a homeland - generally referred to as "Kurdistan". After World War One and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres.
Such hopes were dashed three years later, however, when the Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of modern Turkey, made no provision for a Kurdish state and left Kurds with minority status in their respective countries. Over the next 80 years, any move by Kurds to set up an independent state was brutally quashed.