Patriotic Union of Kurdistan: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patriotic Union Of Kurdistan
Yekîtiya Nîştimaniya Kurdistan
یەکیەتیی نیشتمانیی کوردستان/Yekyetí Níshtimaníy Kurdistan
الاتحاد الوطني کوردستان
Leader Jalal Talabani
Founded June 1, 1975
Headquarters Sulaymaniyah
Ideology Kurdish nationalism,
Social Democracy, Democratic Socialism
International affiliation Socialist International
Official colours Green
Jalal Talabani is the current leader of the PUK and the president of Iraq

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) (est. 1975) (Kurdish: /یەکیەتیی نیشتمانیی کوردستان/Yekyetí Níshtimaníy Kurdistan‎) is a Kurdish political party in South Kurdistan.



The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) was founded in June 1975, by coordinations between Jalal Talabani and Nawshirwan Mustafa[citation needed]. Mr. Mustafa was the leader of an independent socialist movement that adopted Kurdish nationalism called "Komeley Renjderan," some two months after the collapse of the Kurdish rebellion of 1974-1975[citation needed]. Created at a moment of profound crisis for the Kurdish people in Iraq, the organization's aim was to revitalize resistance and to rebuild and redirect Kurdish society along modern and democratic lines. Jalal Talabani, a former student leader, lawyer, journalist and resistance leader, has been the Secretary General of the PUK since its founding in 1975


The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan claims to be working for self-determination, human rights, democracy and peace for the Kurdish people of Iraq.


The Secretary General is Jalal Talabani, the current president of Iraq. The current Deputy Secretary General is Kosrat Rasool Ali. The PUK's policy and decision making is issued mainly by Talabani.[citation needed]


Dr. Barham Salih. A high member of the PUK and currently the Prime Minister of the KRG

PUK's decision-making is centralized around Talabani mainly. The Leadership Council elects the Secretary General and the 11 member Political Bureau. The PUK was originally formed as an umbrella organization unifying various trends within the Kurdish political movement in Iraq. In 1992, the constituent groupings within the PUK merged into a unified political movement that affirmed its social-democratic identity and affiliation. The PUK has branches in all of the major cities and towns of Iraqi Kurdistan and draws membership from a broad cross-section of Kurdish society. The membership of the PUK, based on statistics compiled in September 1998, stands at 800,280 members and associates. The PUK contested the 1992 elections for the Kurdistan National Assembly, and the party list acquired 423,682 votes of the total of 957,469 valid votes cast - giving the PUK commanding majority in three of Iraqi Kurdistan four governorates.[citation needed]

PUK's organizational structure includes:

Bureau for Organization: Manages PUK's organizations throughout the region, as well as producing and disseminating educational and informational materials for distribution to the membership. The bureau also supervises the electoral process within the organization and ensures that the party adheres to its bylaws. Bureau for Information: Supervises and manages PUK media operations. Currently, the PUK operates several outlets: - The People of Kurdistan TV (based in Sulaymaniah), the main television station, and other smaller TV stations in the towns and districts of the region; - The Voice of the People of Kurdistan, a radio station that broadcasts in Kurdish and Arabic. The transmission is received throughout the Middle East and Europe. - Kurdistan-i-Nwe, a daily Kurdish newspaper, the Al-Itihad weekly in Arabic, and The Monitor, a daily bulletin in Kurdish and Arabic, which monitors international broadcasts on matters relating to Kurdish and Iraqi affairs;

Bureau for Culture and Democratic Organization: Acts as a liaison with professional and cultural organizations such as the Students' Union of Kurdistan, Women's' League of Kurdistan, and the Writer's Association.

Bureau of Finance and Management: Manages the financial affairs and administrative staff of the organization. The Leadership Council, through an independent Auditing Commission, supervises the activities of this bureau.

Bureau for Human Rights: The bureau was instituted to monitor the human rights situation in Iraqi Kurdistan - with primary emphasis on the conduct of PUK members and leadership. The bureau acts as a liaison with local human rights organizations and engages in a wide range of educational campaigns with regard to human rights principles, the rule of law, and democracy and to ensure PUK's adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The bureau reports directly to the PUK Secretary General.

Bureau for Social Affairs: In conjunction with the regional authorities, the bureau facilitates settlement of social disputes, particularly with regard to land and tribal matters.

Bureau for Martyr's and Veteran Affairs: The bureau is tasked with assisting the families and dependents of victims of the war in Kurdistan and the veteran community.

Bureau for International Relations: The bureau of international relations coordinates the activities of PUK representatives abroad and reports to PUK's political leadership on relations with foreign government and institutions. Today, PUK has permanent offices in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, Stockholm and Brussels, the seat of the European Parliament. In the Middle East, the PUK has offices in Tehran, Ankara, Syria and Egypt. The PUK and KRG representative to the United States of America is headed by Talabani's son Qubad Talabani. In addition another son of Talabani,'Pavail" is heading the anti-terror units of Sulaymaniyah that is functioning without any obligation to the rule of law. More than five people were announced to be arrested by Talabani's son for five years and they have yet to receive any trial.

The Center for Strategic Studies: Originally setup by, but independent of, the PUK, the Center is a think-tank affiliated with the University of Sulaymaniah.


The areas that PUK’s branches functioning in has been divided into 36 community where PUK located a branch in each of them with three levels according to the population of the area:

Level A: 8 Branches and each branch will consist of (Head of the branch, 2 Deputies and 8 Branch Assistants)

•Sulaymania’s 1st Branch

•Kirkuk’s 2nd Branch

•Hawler’s 3rd Branch (Erbil)

•Duhok’s 4th Branch

•Baghdad’s 5th Branch

•Mosul’s 7th Branch

•Kalar’s 11th Branch

•Khanaqen’s 12th Branch (Diala Governorate)

Level B: 12 Branches and each branch will consist of (Head of the Branch, 2 Deputies and 6 Branch Assistants)

•Soran District’s 6th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

•Raparen’s 8th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Sharazor District’s 9th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Koya District’s 14th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

•Chamchamal’s 15th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Hemren’s 16th Branch (Diala Governorate)

•Khabat’s 18th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

•Sulaymaniah’s 21st Branch (Sulaymaniah Suburbs)

•Pishdar’s 24th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Kifri’s 26th Branch (Diala Governorate)

•Dukan’s 27th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Shangal’s 35th Branch (Sinjar District in Mosul Governorate)

Level C: 16 Branches and each branch will consist of (Head of the Branch, 2 Deputies and 4 Branch Assistants)

•Rozhihalat’s 17th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Aqry’s 19th Branch (Duhok Governorate)

•Qarachugh’s 20th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

•Sharbazher’s 22nd Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Penjwen’s 23rd Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Darbandikhan’s 25th Branch (Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Halbjay Shahed’s 28th Branch (Halabja District in Sulaymaniah Governorate)

•Kirkuk District’s 29th Branch (Kirkuk Suburbs)

•Dibiz’s 30th Branch (Kirkuk Governorate)

•Daquq’s 31st Branch (Salahaldeen Governorate)

•Sommel’s 32nd Branch (Mosul Governorate)

•Ammedi’s 33rd Branch (Duhok Governorate)

•Shekhan’s 34th Branch (Mosul Governorate)

•Zakho’s 36th Branch (Duhok Governorate)

•Choman District’s 37th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

•Shaqlawa’s 38th Branch (Erbil Governorate)

Note: the above list excluded 2 PUK branches, 10th and 13th (Peshmarga Branch and Abroad Branch)


Nawshirwan Mustafa was the deputy secretary general of PUK, until he resigned in 2006. He said the reason was because of the widespread corruption inside the PUK structure and the centralization of PUK decision making.

The PUK was a coalition of five separate political entities that united under the leadership of Jalal Talabani and Nawshirwan Mustafa[citation needed]; the leading factions were Komala Ranjdarani Kurdistan ("The League") and Shorish Geran ("revolution spreaders").

The PUK received grassroots support from the urban intellectual classes of Iraqi Kurdistan upon its establishment, this was partly due to 13 of its 15 founding members being PhD holders and academics. In the early 1980s the PUK evolved and broadened its appeal to all sections of Kurdish society especially the rural classes. The regional Kurdish assembly elections showed that the PUK's support lies predominantly in the southern area of Iraqi Kurdistan. Since the first Persian Gulf War, the PUK has jointly administered northern Iraqi Kurdistan with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). However, cooperation with the KDP in administering the area is not smooth, violence flared up between KDP and PUK militias. Effectively the areas was divided into KDP-controlled territory and PUK-controlled territory (centered around Sulaymaniah).

Recent activities

The PUK joined with the KDP and smaller parties to form the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan as an umbrella group contesting the Iraqi National Assembly election, 2005. This unified Kurdish list gained 25.6% of the vote on the first post-Saddam Iraqi elections on 31 January 2005. Jalal Talabani is now the president of the republic of Iraq.

This was followed by the decision in January 2006, to form an alliance with the KDP and run Iraqi Kurdistan under a unified administration. PUK joined PDK in the recent elections held in Kurdistan to elect a new president and parliament.

Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009 ‎

The PUK lost its stronghold city, Sulaymaniyah in the Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election of 2009. The main reason is believed by observers to be because of the widespread corruption and centralization of decision making inside the structure of PUK. The formation of a new list, the Movement for Change, that was formed by Nawshirwan Mustafa won the majority of the votes in Sulaymaniyah by 51%.

The Kurdistan Regional Government reportedly dismissed more than 2000 people of government positions for supporting the opposition. Massoud Barzani promised to investigate.[1]


After the Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009 the PUK lost many of its members to the Movement for Change. The main reason for this was thought to be corruption. The PUK held a plenum on October 2009 promising reformation and unity. As a result a total of 300 cadres returned to the PUK in October followed by more than a 1000 November[2][3][4][5] and more than 3300 in December[6][7][8]. Even more is expected as the PUK reforms.

Notable members


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address