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The “Arab Spring’s” Effect on Kurdish Political Fortunes

The Arab Spring offered Kurdish political actors in the region significant opportunities to advance their goals. Particularly in Syria and Iraq, Kurdish parties took advantage of the weakening of central governments there. The Kurdish political movement in Turkey, along with its sister movement in Syria, has likewise used the struggle against the “Islamic State” to gain a lot of international sympathy and even support. At the same time, instability in the region has brought increased immediacy to the very real threats faced by Kurdish political actors, whether from hostile central governments or groups such as ISIL.

The Arab Spring s Effect on Kurdish Political Fortunes
Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Ibadi met with the leader of KRG Mesut Barzani in Erbil on April 06, 2015 to discuss about the situation on Mosul. AA PHOTO / EMRAH YORULMAZ
 

The analysis presented here attempts to survey both the significant opportunities as well as the grave dangers faced by Kurdish political actors as a result of the changes related to “the Arab Spring.” The effects of the Arab Spring, especially where attempts to overthrow authoritarian governments went awry, were not limited to the Arab world. Kurdish populations, especially in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, were deeply affected by the changes sweeping the Middle East. Generally speaking, the instability shaking up the Arab world presented dangers but

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