Kurds in Finland

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Kurds in Finland
Total population
more than 13,300
Regions with significant populations
Uusimaa 7,022[1]
Southwest Finland 2,458[1]
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Iranian people

Kurds in Finland refers to Kurds living in Finland. In 2017 there were 13,327 Kurdish speakers in Finland[1] and the number of ethnic Kurds is probably higher.


Some of the Finnish Kurds originate from Turkey and Iran, but most of them have come from Iraq, where they started arriving from in the 1990s as UNHCR quota refugees. Kurds make up the majority of Iraqi immigrants to Finland.[2] After ISIL gained ground against the Peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan the Finnish Kurds organized protests against ISIL.[3] According to the chairman of Finnish-Kurdish friendship association several dozens of Finnish Kurds had left to Syria and Iraq in order to fight against ISIL.[4]


Finnish Kurds speak several different dialects of Kurdish, the largest of which are Sorani and Kurmanji Kurdish. Kurmanji has more speakers worldwide, but Sorani is the most spoken Kurdish dialect in Finland. It is likelly that there are more ethnic Kurds than there are those who speak it as a first language. For example, some of the Kurds who originate from Turkey speak Turkish rather than Kurdish. There are several different Kurdish organizations in Finland, many of which have direct or undirect connections to political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan.[2]

Almost all Finnish Kurds are Muslim and in the Iraqi Kurdistan, where the most Finnish Kurds hail from, most Kurds are Sunni Muslim. Kurds are not however usually very active in religious life, since many of them have leftist and secular political background.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Kieli iän ja sukupuolen mukaan maakunnittain 1990 - 2017". Tilastokeskus. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of Diasporas - Volume II. Springer. 2005. pp. 1004–1010. ISBN 0306483211. 
  3. ^ Hjelt, Yrjö. "Suomen kurdit osoittavat mieltään terroristijärjestö Isisiä vastaan". Yle Uutiset. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Ijäs, Johannes. "Arvio: Jopa kymmeniä lähtenyt Suomesta kurditaistelijoiden riveihin". Kotimaa24. Retrieved 8 November 2014.