Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

On the independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and disputed territories in 2017

Bill Park
King's College, London
Joost Jongerden
Wageningen University
Francis Owtram
University of Exeter
Akiko Yoshioka
Institute Energy Economics
Keywords: United States, Immigration Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, Unemployment, Unauthorized Immigrants.


On 25th September 2017, the eligible voters of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq were given the opportunity to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question, posed in Kurdish, Turkmen, Arabic and Assyrian: “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Region to become an independent state?” The aim of this note is to give an empirically focussed account of the independence referendum. The note has been written by four members of a delegation which spent one week in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) with the purpose of observing the referendum. The key point that we draw from these observations is that the referendum and associated aspiration for independence, which potentially could have unified the different political factions in the KRI, has in fact cruelly exposed divisions.

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