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كوردستان که‌یانیی
Keyaniya Kurdistanê
Kingdom of Kurdistan
Unrecognized state




Capital Sulaymaniyah
Language(s) Kurdish
Religion Islam
Government Monarchy
King Mahmud Barzanji
Prime Minister Qadir Hafeed
Historical era Interwar Period
 - Treaty of Sèvres August 10, 1920
 - Proclaimed October 10, 1921
 - Treaty of Lausanne July 24, 1923
 - Disestablished July, 1924
 - British Mandate of Mesopotamia October 3, 1932

The Kingdom of Kurdistan can refer to two kingdoms formed in the 1920s in the geo-cultural region of Kurdistan.


Northern Iraq

During the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Kurds in Iraq attempted to establish a semi-independent state. On at least one occasion they succeeded and formed the Kingdom of Kurdistan, which lasted from September 1922 - July 1924.[1]

The Shaykh of the Qadiriyyah order of Sufis, the most influential personality in Southern Kurdistan,[2] was appointed Governor of the former sanjak of Sulaymaniya, but rallied against the British and declared an independent Kurdistan in May, 1919. He was defeated in June.

On the 10 October 1921, a statement was issued in Sulaymaniya, the capital of Kurdistan, to establish a Kurdish government. Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji declared himself as the King of the Kingdom of Kurdistan.[3]

After the Treaty of Sèvres, which settled some territories, Sulaymaniya still remained under the direct control of the British High Commissioner. After the subsequent penetration of the Turkish army into the area, an attempt was made by the British to counter this by appointing Shaykh Mahmud Governor again, in September 1922. The Shaykh revolted again, and in November declared himself King of the Kingdom of Kurdistan. Members of his cabinet included:.[4]


Barzanji's cabinet

  • Shaikh Qadir Hafeed, a brother of Shaykh Mahmud - Prime Minister
  • Abdulkarim Alaka, a Christian Kurd - Finance Minister
  • Ahmed Bagy Fatah Bag - Customs Minister
  • Hajy Mala Saeed Karkukli - Justice Minister
  • Hema Abdullah Agha - Labour Minister
  • Zaky Sahibqran - Defence Minister of the Kurdish National Army
  • Mustafa Pasha Yamolki - Education Minister
  • Shekh Mohammed Gharib, brother in law to Shaykh Mahmud - Interior Minister

The army of the Kingdom of Kurdistan was called the Kurdish National Army. Barzanji was defeated by the British in July, 1924, and in January 1926 the League of Nations gave the mandate over the territory to Iraq, with the provision for special rights for Kurds. In 1930-1931, Shaykh Makhmud Barzanji made his last unsuccessful attempt.

The British Royal Air Force's Iraq Command acting on behalf of the Iraqi government in Baghdad played a part in bringing the Kingdom of Kurdistan to an end.

Northern Kurdistan (Southeastern Turkey)

This article is part of the
Kurdish history and Culture series
Early ancestors
Ancient history
Medieval history
Modern history

The second Kingdom of Kurdistan was attempted in southeastern Turkey with Sheikh Said Rebellion in 1925 and only lasted 3 months before being put down by the Turkish army. The rebellion was initiated by Sheikh Said of Piran who was reported to have been assisted by tribal elements from Syria.[5]

See also



  1. ^ Prince, J. (1993), "A Kurdish State in Iraq" in Current History, January.
  2. ^ Eskander, S. (2000) "Britain's policy in Southern Kurdistan: The Formation and the Termination of the First Kurdish Government, 1918-1919" in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 139-163.
  3. ^ Fatah, R. (2005) Mustafa Pasha Yamolki: his life and role in the Kurdish nationalist movement
  4. ^ Fatah, R. (2006) The Kurdish resistance to Southern Kurdistan annexing with Iraq
  5. ^ Elphinston, W. G. (1946) "The Kurdish Question" in International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 22, No. 1. (Jan., 1946), pp. 91-103.


  1. McDowell, D. (1996) A Modern History of the Kurds, pp. 155-163, 194-196
  2. Chomsky, N. (1999), The New Military Humanism - Lessons from Kosovo. London: Pluto Press. p. 62

External links


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