European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights is a supranational or international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights. The court hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals, or one or more of the other contracting states. Aside from judgments, the Court can issue advisory opinions; the Convention was adopted within the context of the Council of Europe, all of its 47 member states are contracting parties to the Convention. The Court is based in France; the Court was established on 21 January 1959 on the basis of Article 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights when its first members were elected by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Convention charges the Court with ensuring the observance of the engagement undertaken by the contracting states in relation to the Convention and its protocols, ensuring the enforcement and implementation of the European Convention in the member states of the Council of Europe.
The jurisdiction of the Court has been recognized to date by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe. On 1 November 1998, the Court became a full-time institution and the European Commission of Human Rights, which used to decide on admissibility of applications, was abolished by Protocol 11; the accession of new states to the European Convention on Human Rights following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led to a sharp increase in applications filed in the Court. The efficiency of the Court was threatened by the large number of pending applications, which were accumulating and increasing steadily. In 1999 8,400 applications were allocated to be heard. In 2003 27,200 cases were filed and the number of pending applications rose to 65,000. In 2005, the Court opened 45,500 case files. In 2009 57,200 applications were allocated, with the number of pending applications rose to 119,300. At the time more than 90% of them were declared to be inadmissible, the majority of cases decided, around 60% of the decisions by the Court, related to what is termed repetitive cases, where the Court has delivered judgment finding a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights or where well established case law exists on a similar case.
Protocol 11 was designed to deal with the backlog of pending cases by establishing the Court and its judges as a full-time institution, by simplifying the procedure and reducing the length of proceedings. However, as the workload of the Court continued to increase, the contracting states agreed that further reforms were necessary and in May 2004 the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Protocol 14 was drafted with the aim of reducing the workload of the Court and that of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which supervises the execution of judgments, so that the Court could focus on cases that raise important human rights issues. Protocol 14 entered into force on 1 June 2010, three months after it was ratified by all 47 contracting states to the Convention. Between 2006 and 2010, Russia was the only contracting state to refuse to ratify Protocol 14. In 2010, Russia ended its opposition to the protocol, in exchange for a guarantee that Russian judges would be involved in reviewing complaints against Russia.
Protocol 14 led to reforms in three areas: The Court's filtering capacity was reinforced to deal with inadmissible applications, new admissibility criteria were introduced so that cases where the applicant has not suffered a significant disadvantage would be declared inadmissible, measures were introduced to deal more with repetitive cases. Protocol 14 amended the Convention so that judges would be elected for a non-renewable term of nine years, whereas judges served a six-year term with the option of renewal. Amendments were made so that a single judge could reject plainly inadmissible applications, while prior to this protocol only a three judge committee could make this final decision. In cases of doubt, the single judge refers the applications to the Committee of the Court. A single judge may not examine applications against the state; the three judge committee has jurisdiction to declare applications admissible and decide on the merits of the case if it was well founded and based on well established case law.
The three judge committee could only declare the case inadmissible, but could not decide on the merits of the case, which could only be done by a chambers of seven judges or the Grand Chamber. Protocol 14 provides that when a three judge committee decides on the merits of a case, the judge elected to represent that state is no longer a compulsory member of this committee; the judge can be invited by the committee, to replace one of its members, but only for specific reasons, such as when the application relates to the exhaustion of national legal remedies. Protocol 14 empowered the Court to declare applications inadmissible where the applicant has not suffered a significant disadvantage and which do not raise serious questions affecting the application or the interpretation of the Convention, or important questions concerning national law; the European Commissioner for Human Rights is now allowed to intervene in cases as a third party, providing written comments and taking part in hearings.
In order to reduce the workload of the Court, Protocol 14 states that the Court should encourage the parties to reach a settlement at an early stage of the proceedings in repetitive cases. The Committee of Mini
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Sigrid Maria Elisabet Rausing is a Swedish philanthropist and publisher. She is the founder of the Sigrid Rausing Trust, one of the United Kingdom's largest philanthropic foundations, owner of Granta magazine and Granta Books. Sigrid Rausing is his wife Märit Rausing, she has Lisbet Rausing and one brother, Hans Kristian Rausing. Her grandfather Ruben Rausing was co-founder of the Swedish packaging company Tetra Pak. Rausing grew up in Lund and studied History at the University of York between 1983 and 1986, she has an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London in 1987. She continued with a PhD focusing on post-Soviet anthropology, did her fieldwork on a collective farm in Estonia, in 1993-4. In 1997, she was awarded a PhD in Social Anthropology from the Department of Social Anthropology at University College London followed by an honorary post-doctorate in the same department. Rausing's book, a monograph based on her PhD, History and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia: The End of a Collective Farm, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004.
The book was preceded by a range including Ethnologie Francaise. Everything Is Wonderful, a personal memoir of her year in Estonia researching the remnants of the Estonian Swedish community, was published by Grove Atlantic in the US, by Albert Bonniers förlag in Sweden, in spring 2014. Rausing writes occasional columns for the New Statesman, her articles on human rights have appeared in the Guardian and the Sunday Times. In spring 2005, with her husband, Eric Abraham and publisher Philip Gwyn-Jones she founded the publishing house, Portobello Books, that Autumn she acquired Granta, a literary journal, its book publishing arm, she is now the publisher of both Granta magazine and Granta Books, including its imprint Portobello Books. In February 2013 she was judged to be one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. In January 2016 Rausing was the guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, her favourite music choice was Chopin’s "Études Op. 10 No. 1 in C major".
Other choices were: "Hallelujah" by k.d. lang, "The Vatican Rag" by Tom Lehrer, "Bird on the Wire" by Leonard Cohen, "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, "The Last Goodbye" by The Kills, "I Get a Kick Out of You" by Ella Fitzgerald, "Le Cygne" by Camille Saint-Saëns. Her book choice was Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and her luxury item was the British Library. Rausing set up the charitable trust the Sea Foundation in 1988. In 1996 she transferred the funds to the Ruben and Elisabeth Rausing Trust, named after her grandparents. In 2004 she was the joint winner of the International Service Human Rights Award, in the Global Human Rights Defender category. In 2005 she won a Beacon Special Award for philanthropy. In 2006 she was awarded, she is a judge on the jury of the Per Anger Prize for human rights defenders, an emeritus board member of the Order of the Teaspoon, a Swedish organisation against political and religious extremism. She was the judge of the Amnesty International Media Awards in 2009 and 2010.
She serves on the advisory board of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, is an Emeritus member of the international board of Human Rights Watch. She is a former trustee of Charleston, in Sussex, the museum, the former home of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. In 2010 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics. In 2011 she was the recipient of the Morrell Fellowship from the University of York. In 2012 she was a judge of the Index on Censorship Media Awards. In June 2014 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of Oxford. Rausing is a supporter of Hope Not Hate. On 1st December 2018 the Sigrid Rausing Trust began a grant of £450,000 over 3 years to Hope Not Hate. By that point, Hope Not Hate had received £615,000 from the Sigrid Rausing Trust. Rausing is married to film and theatre producer Eric Abraham, they own Aubrey House in Holland Park, the Coignafearn estate, in the Monadh Liath, in the Highlands of Scotland. Rausing, Sigrid. History and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia: The End of a Collective Farm.
Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-926318-9. Rausing, Sigrid. Everything is Wonderful: Memories of a Collective Farm in Estonia. Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8021-9281-3. Rausing, Sigrid. Mayhem: a memoir. Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-25926-9. After the war. Granta. Granta. 2013. ISBN 9781905881710. American Wild. Granta. Granta. 2014. ISBN 9781905881819. Do you remember. Granta. Granta. 2014. ISBN 9781905881796. Rausing family Sigrid Rausing Trust
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
Kurds or the Kurdish people are an Iranian ethnic group of Western Asia inhabiting a contiguous area known as Kurdistan. Geographically, those four adjacent and often-mountainous areas include southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria. There are exclaves of Kurds in central Anatolia and Khorasan. Additionally, there are significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in particular Istanbul, while a Kurdish diaspora has developed in Western Europe in Germany. Numerically, the Kurds are estimated to number anywhere from a low of 30 million, to as high as 45 million. Kurds speak the Kurdish languages, such as Kurmanji and Southern Kurdish. Religiously, although the majority of Kurds belong to the Shafi‘i school of Sunni Islam, there are prominent numbers of Kurds who practice Shia Islam and Alevism. Minority of the Kurdish people are adherents to Yarsanism, Yazidism and Christianity. After World War One and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres.
However, that promise was nullified three years when the Treaty of Lausanne set the boundaries of modern Turkey and made no provision for a Kurdish state, leaving Kurds with minority status in their respective countries. This fact has led to numerous genocides and rebellions, along with the current ongoing armed guerrilla conflicts in Turkey and Syria / Rojava. Although Kurds are the majority population in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, because of their statelessness, Kurdish nationalist movements continue to pursue greater cultural rights and independence throughout Greater Kurdistan. Kurdish is a collection of related dialects spoken by the Kurds, it is spoken in those parts of Iran, Iraq and Turkey which comprise Kurdistan. Kurdish holds official status in Iraq as a national language alongside Arabic, is recognized in Iran as a regional language, in Armenia as a minority language; the Kurdish languages belong to the northwestern sub‑group of the Iranian languages, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.
Most Kurds are either bilingual or multilingual, speaking the language of their respective nation of origin, such as Arabic and Turkish as a second language alongside their native Kurdish, while those in diaspora communities speak three or more languages. According to Mackenzie, there are few linguistic features that all Kurdish dialects have in common and that are not at the same time found in other Iranian languages; the Kurdish dialects according to Mackenzie are classified as: Northern group Central group Southern group including Kermanshahi and LakiThe Zaza and Gorani are ethnic Kurds, but the Zaza–Gorani languages are not classified as Kurdish. Commenting on the differences between the dialects of Kurdish, Kreyenbroek clarifies that in some ways and Sorani are as different from each other as is English from German, giving the example that Kurmanji has grammatical gender and case endings, but Sorani does not, observing that referring to Sorani and Kurmanji as "dialects" of one language is supported only by "their common origin... and the fact that this usage reflects the sense of ethnic identity and unity of the Kurds."
The number of Kurds living in Southwest Asia is estimated at close to 30 million, with another one or two million living in diaspora. Kurds comprise anywhere from 18% to 20% of the population in Turkey as high as 25%. Kurds form regional majorities in all four of these countries, viz. in Turkish Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iranian Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan. The Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in West Asia after the Arabs and Turks; the total number of Kurds in 1991 was placed at 22.5 million, with 48% of this number living in Turkey, 18% in Iraq, 24% in Iran, 4% in Syria. Recent emigration accounts for a population of close to 1.5 million in Western countries, about half of them in Germany. A special case are the Kurdish populations in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, displaced there in the time of the Russian Empire, who underwent independent developments for more than a century and have developed an ethnic identity in their own right; this groups' population was estimated at close to 0.4 million in 1990.
"The land of Karda" is mentioned on a Sumerian clay-tablet dated to the 3rd millennium B. C; this land was inhabited by "the people of Su". Other Sumerian clay-tablets referred to the people, who lived in the land of Karda, as the Qarduchi and the Qurti. Karda/Qardu is etymologically related to the Hebrew term Ararat. Qarti or Qartas, who were settled on the mountains north of Mesopotamia, are considered as a probable ancestor of the Kurds. Akkadians were attacked by nomads coming through Qartas territory at the end of 3rd millennium B. C. Akkadians distinguished them as Guti, they conquered Mesopotamia in 2150 B. C. and ruled with 21 kings. Many Kurds consider themselves descended from the Medes, an ancient Iranian people, use a calendar dating from 612 B. C. when the Assyrian capital of Nineveh was conquered by the Medes. The claimed Median descent is refl
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k