The position of the 19 million Kurds is an extremely complex one. Their territory is divided between 5 sovereign states, none of which have a Kurdish majority. They speak widely divergent dialects, and are also divided by religious affiliations and social factors. It has taken the tragic and horrifying events in Iraq this year to bring the Kurds to the centre of the world stage, but their particular problems, and their considerable geo-political importance, have been the source of growing concern and interest during the last two to three decades. There is a remarkable dearth of reliable and up-to-date information about the Kurds, which this book remedies. Its contributors cover social and political issues, legal questions, religion, language, and the modern history of Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Soviet Union. The Kurds will be an invaluable source of reference for students and specialists in Middle East studies, and those concerned with wider questions of nationalism and cultural identity. It also offers extremely useful background information for those with a professional concern for the numerous Kurdish immigrants and asylum seekers in Western Europe and North America.