The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms. It states that people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference; the concept was first expressed in the 1860s, spread thereafter. During and after World War I, the principle was encouraged by both Vladimir Lenin and United States President Woodrow Wilson. Having announced his Fourteen Points on 8 January 1918, on 11 February 1918 Wilson stated: "National aspirations must be respected, it was recognized as an international legal right after it was explicitly listed as a right in the UN Charter. The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, nor what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, protection, some form of autonomy or full assimilation.
Neither does it state what the delimitation between peoples should be—nor what constitutes a people. There are conflicting definitions and legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination. By extension, the term self-determination has come to mean the free choice of one's own acts without external compulsion; the employment of imperialism, through the expansion of empires, the concept of political sovereignty, as developed after the Treaty of Westphalia explain the emergence of self-determination during the modern era. During, after, the Industrial Revolution many groups of people recognized their shared history, geography and customs. Nationalism emerged as a uniting ideology not only between competing powers, but for groups that felt subordinated or disenfranchised inside larger states; such groups pursued independence and sovereignty over territory, but sometimes a different sense of autonomy has been pursued or achieved. The world possessed several traditional, continental empires such as the Ottoman, Austrian/Habsburg, the Qing Empire.
Political scientists define competition in Europe during the Modern Era as a balance of power struggle, which induced various European states to pursue colonial empires, beginning with the Spanish and Portuguese, including the British, French and German. During the early 19th century, competition in Europe produced multiple wars, most notably the Napoleonic Wars. After this conflict, the British Empire became dominant and entered its "imperial century", while nationalism became a powerful political ideology in Europe. After the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, "New Imperialism" was unleashed with France and Germany establishing colonies in Asia, the Pacific, Africa. Japan emerged as a new power. Multiple theaters of competition developed across the world: Africa: multiple European states competed for colonies in the "Scramble for Africa"; the Ottoman Empire, Austrian Empire, Russian Empire, Qing Empire and the new Empire of Japan maintained themselves expanding or contracting at the expense of another empire.
All ignored notions of self-determination for those governed. The revolt of New World British colonists in North America, during the mid-1770s, has been seen as the first assertion of the right of national and democratic self-determination, because of the explicit invocation of natural law, the natural rights of man, as well as the consent of, sovereignty by, the people governed. Thomas Jefferson further promoted the notion that the will of the people was supreme through authorship of the United States Declaration of Independence which inspired Europeans throughout the 19th century; the French Revolution was motivated and legitimatized the ideas of self-determination on that Old World continent. Within the New World during the early 19th century, most of the nations of Spanish America achieved independence from Spain; the United States supported that status, as policy in the hemisphere relative to European colonialism, with the Monroe Doctrine. The American public, organized associated groups, Congressional resolutions supported such movements the Greek War of Independence and the demands of Hungarian revolutionaries in 1848.
Such support, never became official government policy, due to balancing of other national interests. After the American Civil War and with increasing capability, the United States government did not accept self-determination as a basis during its Purchase of Alaska and attempted purchase of the West Indian islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John in the 1860s, or its growing influence in the Hawaiian Islands, that led to annexation in 1898. With its victory in the Spanish–American War in 1899 and its growing stature in the world, the United States supported annexation of the former Spanish colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, without the conse
Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or more to movements which call for full implementation of sharia, it is used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism. In academic usage, the term Islamism does not specify what vision of "Islamic order" or sharia are being advocated, or how their advocates intend to bring them about. In Western mass media it tends to refer to groups whose aim is to establish a sharia-based Islamic state with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, has acquired connotations of political extremism. In the Muslim world, the term has positive connotations among its proponents. Different currents of Islamist thought include advocating a "revolutionary" strategy of Islamizing society through exercise of state power, alternately a "reformist" strategy to re-Islamizing society through grass-roots social and political activism.
Islamists may emphasize the implementation of sharia. Graham Fuller has argued for a broader notion of Islamism as a form of identity politics, involving "support for identity, broader regionalism, revitalization of the community." Some authors hold the term "Islamic activism" to be synonymous and preferable to "Islamism", Rached Ghannouchi writes that Islamists prefer to use the term "Islamic movement" themselves. Central and prominent figures in twentieth-century Islamism include Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, Ruhollah Khomeini. Most Islamist thinkers emphasize peaceful political processes, which are supported by the majority of contemporary Islamists. Others, Sayyid Qutb in particular, called for violence, his followers are considered Islamic extremists, although Qutb denounced the killing of innocents. According to Robin Wright, Islamist movements have "arguably altered the Middle East more than any trend since the modern states gained independence", redefining "politics and borders".
Following the Arab Spring, some Islamist currents became involved in democratic politics, while others spawned "the most aggressive and ambitious Islamist militia" to date, ISIS. The term Islamism, which denoted the religion of Islam, first appeared in the English language as Islamismus in 1696, as Islamism in 1712; the term appears in the U. S. Supreme Court decision in In Re Ross. By the turn of the twentieth century the shorter and purely Arabic term "Islam" had begun to displaced it, by 1938, when Orientalist scholars completed The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Islamism seems to have disappeared from English usage; the term "Islamism" acquired its contemporary connotations in French academia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From French, it began to migrate to the English language in the mid-1980s, in recent years has displaced the term Islamic fundamentalism in academic circles; the new use of the term "Islamism" at first functioned as "a marker for scholars more to sympathize" with new Islamic movements.
A 2003 article in the Middle East Quarterly states: In summation, the term Islamism enjoyed its first run, lasting from Voltaire to the First World War, as a synonym for Islam. Enlightened scholars and writers preferred it to Mohammedanism. Both terms yielded to Islam, the Arabic name of the faith, a word free of either pejorative or comparative associations. There was no need for any other term, until the rise of an ideological and political interpretation of Islam challenged scholars and commentators to come up with an alternative, to distinguish Islam as modern ideology from Islam as a faith... To all intents and purposes, Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism have become synonyms in contemporary American usage; the Council on American–Islamic Relations complained in 2013 that the Associated Press's definition of "Islamist"—a "supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam who view the Quran as a political model"—had become a pejorative shorthand for "Muslims we don't like". Mansoor Moaddel, a sociologist at Eastern Michigan University, criticized it as "not a good term" because "the use of the term Islamist does not capture the phenomena, quite heterogeneous."
The AP Stylebook entry for Islamist as of 2013 read as follows: "An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists. Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Taliban, etc; those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi." Islamism has been defined as: "the belief that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life", a form of "religionized politics"
Constitutionalist Party of Iran
The Constitutionalist Party of Iran–Liberal Democrat is an Iranian exiled monarchist political party. The party condemns the Iranian Revolution and is waiting for the return of the monarchy under Reza Pahlavi. German authorities believe the group "is not a serious danger to Iran since its activities are limited to propaganda against the regime." Official website
Kurdistan Free Life Party
The Kurdistan Free Life Party, or PJAK, is a militant leftist-nationalist, anti-Iranian government group. It has waged an intermittent armed struggle since 2004 against the Iranian government for self-determination for Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan; the PJAK is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party. In 2009, the US Treasury named the PJAK a terrorist group and a front for the PKK. Both groups are members of the Kurdistan Communities Union, or KCK, an umbrella group of Kurdish political and insurgent groups in Turkey, Iran and Iraq, its armed wing, the Eastern Kurdistan Units, or YRK, is estimated to have 3,000 members, who are from Iran, Iraq and the Kurdish diaspora. The group is considered a terrorist organisation by Iran and the United States. Members of the PKK founded the PJAK in 2004 as an Iranian equivalent to their leftist-nationalist insurgency against the Turkish government. ` The present leader of the organisation is Abdul Rahman Haji Ahmadi. According to the Washington Times, half the members of PJAK are women, many of them still in their teens.
The group recruits female guerrillas and states that its "cruelest and fiercest fighters" are women drawn to the movement's "radical feminism". PJAK is a member of the Kurdistan Communities Union or KCK, an alliance of outlawed Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive Council; the KCK is in charge of a number of decisions, releases press statements on behalf of its members. The PJAK has sub-divisions: Armed wing - Eastern Kurdistan Units Women's armed wing - Women's Defence Forces, led by Gulistan Dogan. Youth and student branchThe PKK is a member of KCK, according to the New York Times, the PJAK and PKK "appear to a large extent to be one and the same, share the same goal: fighting campaigns to win new autonomy and rights for Kurds; the only difference is that the PJAK fights in Iran, PKK fights in Turkey. They share leadership and allegiance to Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK leader imprisoned in Turkey."Like the present PKK goals in Turkey, PJAK leaders say their long-term goals are to establish an autonomous Iranian Kurdistan within the Iranian state.
The PJAK leadership claims that the group's goals are focused on replacing Iran's theocracy with a "democratic and federal government" with self-rule for Arabs, Azeris and all other ethnic minorities. The armed wing of the PJAK, the Eastern Kurdistan Units or YRK, has been engaged in an armed conflict with the Iranian authorities since 2004. Istanbul's Cihan News Agency claimed that over 120 members of the Iranian security forces were killed by PJAK during 2005. PJAK killed 24 members of Iranian security forces on 3 April 2006, in retaliation for the killing of 10 Kurds demonstrating in Maku by Iranian security forces. On April 10, 2006, seven PJAK members were arrested in Iran, on suspicion that they had killed three Iranian security force personnel. PJAK set off a bomb on 8 May 2006 in Kermanshah; as early as mid-2006, the Iranian security forces have confronted PJAK guerrillas in many different occasions along the border inside Iran. Since the United States news channel MSNBC claims that the Iranian military has begun bombardments of Kurdish villages in Iraq along the Iranian border while claiming that their primary targets have been PJAK militants.
A number of civilians have died. PJAK claims its guerrillas fight inside Iran, in August 2007, managed to destroy an Iranian military helicopter, conducting a forward operation of bombardment by Iranian forces. On 24 April 2009, PJAK rebels attacked a police station in Kermanshah province. According to Iranian government sources, 18 policemen and 8 rebels were killed in a fierce gun battle. Iran responded a week by attacking Kurdish villages in the border area of Panjwin inside Iraq using helicopter gunships. According to Iraqi border guards officials, the area attacked by Iran was not considered a stronghold of PJAK, that appeared to have been the target of the raid. According to the ICRC, more than 800 Iraqi Kurds have been forced from their homes by the recent cross-border violence. On 16 July 2011, the Iranian army launched a major offensive against PJAK compounds in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq. According to the Revolutionary Guards dozens of rebels have been killed. According to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency on 26 July, PJAK militants were killed in clashes in several towns in West Azerbaijan province.
Kurdish media reported. PJAK spokesperson Sherzad Kemankar announced in an interview with the Iraqi Kurdish newspapers Hawlati and Awene that the Iranian forces attacked PJAK strongholds on July 16, however PJAK succeeded in pushing back the Iranian military to their original positions and 53 Iranian soldiers were killed in the battle while PJAK lost two fighters. Sherzad Kemankar pointed out that Iranian forces were carrying out a joint operation with Ansar al-Islam using heavy weaponry. Iranian media reported that General Abbas Asemi, one of the most senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders in the holy city of Qom along with at least 5 other Revolutionary Guard soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels near the Iraq border; the Iranian government blames the PJAK for sabotage attacks on gas pipelines and ambushing its troops, according to Reuters, aid agencies say shelling by the Revolutionary Guard has "killed some civilians and forced hundreds to flee their homes" in the area.
The Revolutionary Guard denies the charge. On 8 August 2011
Politics of Iran
The politics of Iran take place in a framework of a theocracy in a format of syncretic politics, guided by Islamic ideology. The December 1979 constitution, its 1989 amendment, define the political and social order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declaring that Shia Islam of the Twelver school of thought is Iran's official religion. Iran has an elected president, parliament, "Assembly of Experts", local councils. According to the constitution all candidates running for these positions must be vetted by the Guardian Council before being elected. In addition, there are representatives elected from appointed organizations to "protect the state's Islamic character"; the early days of the revolutionary government were characterized by political tumult. In November 1979 the American embassy was seized and its occupants taken hostage and kept captive for 444 days because of support of the American Government to the King of Iran; the eight-year Iran–Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands and cost the country billions of dollars.
By mid-1982, power struggles eliminated first the center of political spectrum and the Republicans leaving the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini and his supporters in power. Iran's post-revolution challenges have included the imposition of economic sanctions and suspension of diplomatic relations with Iran by the United States because of the hostage crisis, political support to Iraq and other acts of terrorism that the U. S. government and some others have accused Iran of sponsoring. Emigration has lost Iran millions of entrepreneurs, professionals and skilled craftspeople and their capital." For this and other reasons Iran's economy has not prospered. Poverty rose in absolute terms by nearly 45% during the first 6 years since Iraqi invasion on Iran started and per capita income has yet to reach pre-revolutionary levels when Iraqi invasion ended in 1988; the Islamic Republic Party was Iran's ruling political party and for years its only political party until its dissolution in 1987. After the war, new reformist/progressive parties had started to form.
The country had no functioning political parties until the Executives of Construction Party formed in 1994 to run for the fifth parliamentary elections out of executive body of the government close to the then-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. After the election of Mohammad Khatami in 1997, more parties started to work of the reformist movement and opposed by hard-liners; this led including hard-liners. After the war ended in 1988, reformist and progressive candidates won four out of six presidential elections in Iran and Right-wing nationalist party of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won twice; the Iranian Government is opposed by several Militias, including the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, the People's Fedayeen, the Kurdish Democratic Party. For other political parties see List of political parties in Iran; the Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judicial system, state television, other key governmental organizations are under the control of the Supreme Leader.
There have been only two Supreme Leaders since the founding of the Islamic Republic, the current leader, has been in power since 1989. His powers extend to issuing decrees and making final decisions on the economy, foreign policy, national planning of population growth, the amount of transparency in elections in Iran, and, to be fired and reinstated in the Presidential cabinet; the Supreme Leader is supervised by the Assembly of Experts. However, all candidates to the Assembly of Experts, the President and the Majlis, are selected by the Guardian Council, half of whose members are selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran. All directly-elected members after the vetting process by the Guardian Council still have to be approved by the Supreme Leader; as such, the Assembly has never questioned the Supreme Leader. The Guardian Council is an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council with considerable power, it approves or vetoes legislative bills from the Islamic Consultative Assembly, approves or forbids candidates seeking office to the Assembly of Experts, the Presidency and the parliament, Six of the twelve members are Islamic faqihs selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran, the other six are jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial system, approved by the Iranian Parliament.
These are the most recent elections. Active student groups include the pro-reform "Office for Strengthening Unity" and "the Union of Islamic Student Societies'; the conservative power base has been said to be made up of a "web of Basiji militia members, families of war martyrs, some members of the Revolutionary Guard, some government employees, some members of the urban and rural poor, conservative-linked foundations." Opposition groups include the Nation of Iran party. The military and the Corps of the Guardians (often mistranslated as
People's Mujahedin of Iran
The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran or the Mojahedin-e Khalq is an Iranian political–militant organization based on Islamic and Socialist ideology and advocates overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran leadership and installing its own government. It was the "first Iranian organization to develop systematically a modern revolutionary interpretation of Islam – an interpretation that deferred from both the old conservative Islam of the traditional clergy and the new populist version formulated in the 1970s by Ayatollah Khomeini and his government." The MEK is considered the Islamic Republic of Iran's biggest and most active political opposition group. The European Union and the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, but this designation has since been lifted, first by the Council of the European Union in 26 January 2009, by the U. S. government on 21 September 2012, lastly by the Canadian government on 20 December 2012. The MEK is designated as a terrorist organization by Iran and Iraq.
In June 2004, the U. S. designated the members of the MEK as ‘protected persons’ under the Geneva Convention IV relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Which was expired in 2009 after full sovereignty of Iraq. Various scholarly works, media outlets, UNHCR, HRW and the governments of the United States and France have described it as a cult built around its leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi; the MEK contributed to the overthrow of the Shah during the Iranian revolution, it subsequently pursued the establishment of a democracy in Iran gaining support from Iran's middle class intelligentsia. This created conflicts with Ayatollah Khomeini, by early 1981, authorities had banned the MEK driving the organization underground. After the fall of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the MEK refused to take part in constitution referendum of the new government, which led to Khomeini preventing Massoud Rajavi and other MEK members from running office in the new government; the MEK organized a peaceful demonstration against the Islamic Republic party.
The protest led to executions of MEK members and sympathizers. MEK targeted key Iranian official figures, with the bombing of the Prime Minister's office, attacking low ranking civil servants and members of the Revolutionary Guards, along with ordinary citizens who supported the new government. According to infoplease.com, more than 16,000 Iranian people have been killed by the MEK since 1979. According to the MEK, over 100,000 of its members have been killed and 150,000 imprisoned by the Islamic Republic of Iran; the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps raided MEK safe houses killing Massoud Rajavi's first wife, Ashraf Rabi'i, Musa Khiabani, MEK's second in-command at the time. In 1986 the IRI requested France to expel the MEK from Paris, so it took base in Iraq where it fought against Iran during the Iran–Iraq War alongside the Saddam Hussein's army, assisted Saddam's Republican Guard in suppressing the 1991 nationwide uprisings against Saddam. In 2002, the MEK blew the whistle on Iran’s clandestine nuclear program, in 2003, following the occupation of Iraq by U.
S. and coalition forces, the MEK signed a ceasefire agreement with U. S. and put their arms down in Camp of Ashraf. The group had no name until February 1972; the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran is known by a variety of names including: Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization The National Liberation Army of Iran National Council of Resistance of Iran – the MEK is the founding member of a coalition of organizations called the NCRI. The organization has the appearance of a broad-based coalition. Monafiqeen – the Iranian government refers to the organization with this derogatory name; the term is derived from Quran, which describes it as people of "two minds" who "say with their mouths what is not in their hearts" and "in their hearts is a disease". The Cult of Rajavi or Rajavi Cult According to Kenneth Katzman, most analysts agree that MEK members tend to be "more dedicated and zealous" than those of other organizations. According to George E. Delury, in early 1980 the organization was thought to have 5,000 hard-core members and 50,000 supporters.
In June 1980, at the height of their popularity, the Mojahedin attracted 150,000 sympathizers to a rally in Tehran. Pierre Razoux estimates MEK's maximum strength from 1981–1983 to 1987–1988, about 15,000 fighters with a few tanks and several dozen light artillery pieces, recoilless guns, machine guns, anti-tank missiles and SAM-7s. Jeffrey S. Dixon and Meredith Reid Sarkees estimate their prewar strength to be about 2,000 peaking to 10,000; the MEK was believed to have a 5,000–7,000-strong armed guerrilla group based in Iraq before the 2003 war, but a membership of between 3,000–5,000 is considered more likely. In 2005, the U. S. think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations stated that the MEK had 10,000 members, one-third to one-half of whom were fighters. According to a 2003 article by The New York Times, the MEK was composed of 5,000 fighters based in Iraq, many of them female. Reports by The Military Balance in 2003 and 2004, as well as BMI Research's 2008 report estimate MEK's armed wing strength 6,000–8,000 and its political wing around 3,000, thus a total 9,000–11,000 membership.
A 2013 article in Foreign Policy claimed. In 2011, United States Department of Defense estimated global membership of the organiza
Kurdish nationalism holds that the Kurdish people are deserving of a sovereign nation that would be partitioned out of areas in Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria based on the promised nation of Kurdistan under the Treaty of Sèvres. Early Kurdish nationalism had its roots in the days of the Ottoman Empire, within which Kurds were a significant ethnic group. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurdish-majority territories were divided between the newly formed states of Iraq and Turkey, making Kurds a significant ethnic minority in each state. Kurdish nationalist movements have long been suppressed by Turkey and the Arab-majority states of Iraq and Syria, all of whom fear loss of territory to a potential independent Kurdistan. Kurds from Iran are loyal to the nationalistic movement and this was demonstrated in Iraqi Kurdistans indepenedence referendum in 2017 where thousands of Iranian Kurds risked arrest to march and celebrate waving the banned Kurdish flag. Since the 1970s, Iraqi Kurds have pursued the goal of greater autonomy and outright independence against the Ba'ath Party regimes, which responded with brutal repression including the massacre of 182,000 Kurds in the Anfal genocide.
Since the 1980s, the Kurdish–Turkish conflict led by Kurdish armed groups challenged the Turkish state, which responded with martial law. After the 1991 uprisings in Iraq, Iraqi Kurds were protected against the armies of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by NATO-enforced no-fly zones, allowing them considerable autonomy and self-government outside the control of the Iraqi central government. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurdistan became an autonomous region, enjoying a great measure of self-governance but stopping short of full independence. Kurdish nationalism has long been promoted by the worldwide Kurdish diaspora; the Kurdish nationalist struggle first emerged in the late 19th century when a unified movement demanded the establishment of a Kurdish state. Revolts did occur sporadically but only decades after the Ottoman centralist policies of the 19th century began did the first modern Kurdish nationalist movement emerge with uprising led by a Kurdish landowner and head of the powerful Shemdinan family, Sheikh Ubeydullah.
In 1880, demanded political autonomy or outright independence for Kurds and the recognition of a Kurdistan state without interference from Turkish or Persian authorities. The uprising against Qajar Persia and the Ottoman Empire was suppressed by the Ottomans and Ubeydullah, along with other notables, were exiled to Istanbul; the Kurdish nationalist movement that emerged following World War I and end of the Ottoman Empire was reactionary to the changes taking place in mainstream Turkey radical secularization which the Muslim Kurds abhorred, centralization of authority which threatened the power of local chieftains and Kurdish autonomy, rampant Turk ethnonationalism in the new Turkish Republic which threatened to marginalize them. Western powers fighting the Turks promised the Kurds they would act as guarantors for Kurdish freedom, a promise they subsequently broke. One particular organization, the Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti was central to the forging of a distinct Kurdish identity, it took advantage of period of political liberalization in during the Second Constitutional Era of Turkey to transform a renewed interest in Kurdish culture and language into a political nationalist movement based on ethnicity.
This emphasis on Kurds as a distinct ethnicity was encouraged by around the start of the 20th century Russian anthropologists who suggested that the Kurds were a European race based on physical characteristics and their language, part of the Indo-European language group. While these researchers had ulterior political motives their findings were embraced and still accepted today by many. During the open government of the 1950s, Kurds gained political office and started working within the framework of the Turkish Republic to further their interests but this move towards integration was halted with the 1960 Turkish coup d'état; the 1970s saw an evolution in Kurdish nationalism as Marxist political thought influenced a new generation of Kurdish nationalists opposed to the local feudal authorities, a traditional source of opposition to authority they would form the militant separatist Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, or Kurdistan Workers Party in English. Under the millet system, Kurds' primary form of identification was religious with Sunni Islam being the top in the hierarchy.
While the Ottoman Empire embarked on a modernization and centralization campaign known as the Tanzimat, Kurdish regions retained much of their autonomy and tribal chiefs their power. The Sublime Porte made little attempt to alter the traditional power structure of "segmented, agrarian Kurdish societies" – agha and tribal chief; because of the Kurds' geographical position at the southern and eastern fringe of the empire and the mountainous topography of their territory, in addition to the limited transportation and communication system, agents of the state had little access to Kurdish provinces and were forced to make informal agreements with tribal chiefs. This bolstered the Kurds' autonomy. In 1908, the Young Turks come to power asserting a radical form of Turkish ethnic identity and closed Ottoman associations and non-Turkish schools, they launched a cam