Broad designation given to a mountainous region that includes parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, and Syria, inhabited predominantly by Kurds. Settlement is chiefly concentrated in the towns of Diyarbakir, Bitlis, and Van in Turkey, Mosul and Karkuk in Iraq, and Kermanshah in Iran. Since early times the region has been the home of the Kurds, a people whose ethnic origins are uncertain. The Treaty of Sèvres, signed in 1920, provided for the recognition of a Kurdish state, but the agreement was never ratified.

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