Kurdistan Regional Government
FRI, 31 OCT 2014 13:31 Erbil, GMT +3

The Kurdistan Region in brief

FRI, 23 APR 2010 17:01 | KRG.org

The Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region in federal Iraq. It borders Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Turkey to the north, where fertile plains meet the Zagros mountains, and is traversed by the Tigris, Big Zab, and Little Zab rivers.

Area: 40,643 square kilometres [1]

Population: 3,757,058 [2]

Capital city: Erbil (also known as Hewler)

Languages: mainly Kurdish; Turkmani, Arabic, Armenian, and Assyrian in some areas.

Currency: Iraqi Dinar (IQD).

A few facts about the Kurdistan Region in Iraq

This is also available as a downloadable fact sheet

  • With a population of currently around 4 million and rapidly increasing, the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Suleimaniah cover approximately 40,000 square kilometres - four times the area of Lebanon and larger than that of the Netherlands.

  • The Region is geographically diverse, from hot plains to cooler mountainous areas blessed with natural springs where snow falls in the winter.

  • Since March 2003 not a single coalition soldier has died nor a single foreigner been kidnapped in the areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

  • The capital and seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government is Erbil, a city known locally as Hawler.

  • The Citadel in Erbil is said to be the longest continually inhabited place in the world.

  • The Kurdistan Regional Government exercises executive power according to the Kurdistan Region’s laws as enacted by the democratically elected Kurdistan National Assembly. The current government, led by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, assumed office on 7 May 2006.

  • Iraq’s Constitution recognises the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan National Assembly and the Peshmerga guard as the legitimate regional forces.

  • The current coalition government consists of several political parties that reflect the diversity of the Region’s people, who are Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Yazidis and Kurds living together in harmony and tolerance.

  • Since the Anfal genocide campaign by Saddam Hussein’s Regime in the 1980s, more than 65% of the razed villages have been rebuilt by the Regional Administration.

  • The Kurdish language is distinct and is in the family of Iranian languages, such as Persian and Pashto. There are two main dialects, Sorani and Kurmanji.

  • The Kurdistan Region has seven universities, including the English language University of Kurdistan-Hawler in Erbil which opened in September 2006, and the American University of Iraq in Suleimaniah which started its first programme in autumn 2007.

    References

    [1] KRG-administered territory only. Compiled by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) from various national and regional sources: International Boundaries from National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) Digital Chart of the World (DCW). The primary source for the DCW database is the Operational Navigation Chart series co-produced by the military mapping authorities of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.

    [2] According to Oil-for-Food Distribution Plan, approved by the UN, December 2002.

    Related Articles

    Archaeological sites in the Kurdistan Region

    MON, 28 JUN 2010 00:34

    Kurdistan has at least 1,307 known archaeological sites.

    Among the most famous is the Erbil citadel, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, which has been settled since 6,000 BC.
    Another is the Shanidar cave, where nine Neanderthal skeletons were found dating between 60-80,000 years. The cave is in Bradost mountain, in Erbil province.

    Contemporary history

    MON, 28 JUN 2010 00:31

    Some key moments in Kurdistan's history since the early 20th century.

    The Kurdish language

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 21:32

    Kurdish, the most widely spoken language in the Kurdistan Region, is in the Indo-European family of languages.

    Kurdistan's cuisine

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 19:29

    Fresh local ingredients

    Fresh herbs are the essence of Kurdish cuisine. People also love to cook with an abundance of vegetables. Lamb and chicken are the primary meats.

    Tourism: Unspoiled mountain scenery off the beaten track

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 18:40

    The Kurdistan Region is an ideal destination for those seeking unspoiled mountain scenery and ancient archeological sites off the beaten track.

    Hillside resorts and lakes
    During the Kurdistan Region’s long hot summers, visitors and locals can enjoy the cooler weather of Kurdistan’s hillside resorts.

    Universities in the Kurdistan Region

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 18:35

    There are seven universities in the Kurdistan Region. The four largest are Salahaddin University in Erbil, the University of Suleimani, the University of Dohuk and Soran University. They offer studies in various subjects leading to specialised diplomas, bachelors and masters degrees, and doctorates. Two recently established universities teach exclusively in English. There are also a growing number of licensed private universities in Kurdistan.

    Religious freedom and tolerance

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 18:19

    The majority of people in Kurdistan are Sunni Muslims, living alongside Christians and Yazidis. Religious freedom is protected by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

    Kurdistan's history until the 19th century

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 17:23

    Some of the key events in the Kurdistan Region’s history up to the 19th century.

    60-80,000 years ago: Evidence of Neanderthal man living in caves. From 1957-1961 nine Neanderthal skeletons were found in Shanidar cave, close to the Big Zab River in Erbil province just above the Kahlon-Rezan road.

    Kurdistan's geography and climate

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 16:53

    The mountains of the Kurdistan Region have an average height of about 2,400 metres, rising to 3,000–3,300 metres in places. The highest peak, Halgurd, is near the border with Iran and measures 3,660 metres. The highest mountain ridges contain the only forestland in the Region.

    The Kurdistan Region's flora and fauna

    SUN, 27 JUN 2010 16:43

    On the craggy slopes of the Kurdistan Region, you will find low-growing trees, birds and wild goats. On the mountain ridges grow small oaks, juniper trees and mountain herbs, and in the stream valleys are poplars. Eucalyptus can be found in watered areas on the plains.

    National holidays and key dates in the Kurdistan Region’s history

    FRI, 25 JUN 2010 17:47

    Key dates in the Kurdistan Region’s history

  • 21st March: Nawroz, Kurdish New Year celebrated on the spring equinox.
  • 5th March 1991: Uprising against Saddam Hussein’s regime, which began in the town of Rania.
  • 14th March 1903: Birthday of Mustafa Barzani, leader of Kurdistan’s national democratic movement.
  • 16th March 1988: Halabja Day, commemoration of chemical weapons bombardment on the city of Halabja.

  • Flag and national anthem

    FRI, 25 JUN 2010 17:35

    Oh enemy, the Kurdish nation is alive with its language
    It cannot be defeated by the weapons of any time
    Let no one say the Kurds are dead
    The Kurds are alive
    The Kurds are alive and their flag will never fall

    Why invest in Kurdistan?

    FRI, 25 JUN 2010 15:01

    The Kurdistan Region is an emerging market offering excellent opportunities

  • With a young and increasingly prosperous population of nearly 4 million, the Kurdistan Region covers about 40,000 square kilometres , around the same size as the Netherlands or Switzerland.
  • A stable security situation - not a single coalition soldier has lost their life nor a single foreigner been kidnapped in the area administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

  • Kurdistan’s investment law: The friendliest in the region

    FRI, 25 JUN 2010 14:51

    The Kurdistan Region Investment Law was passed in July 2006 and an Investment Board was created to manage and promote investment. The investment law is one of the most friendly to foreign investors in the entire Middle East.

    Kurdistan Region Investment Law

    FRI, 25 JUN 2010 14:14

    The investment law for the Kurdistan Region was adopted in July 2006. The law was debated and approved by the Kurdistan National Assembly, the Region's parliament, and ratified by President Masoud Barzani.