Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The forgotten people of Kurdistan

Kurdish women and Turkish soldiers face to face in Kurdistan.
Ethnic Kurds compose 15.7%-25% of the population in Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye’deki Kürtler, Kurdish: Kurdên li Tirkiye). Unlike the Turkish people, the Kurds speak an Indo-European language. There are Kurds living in all provinces of Turkey, but are primarily concentrated in the east and southeast of the country, which largely resembles the historical region of Kurdistan.

In the 1930s, Turkish government policy aimed at assimilating Kurds in Turkey, many have resisted these measures and today Kurds make up around 15-18% of the population of Turkey. Since the 1980s, Kurdish movements included both peaceful political activities for basic civil rights for Kurds in Turkey as well as violent armed rebellion and guerrilla warfare, including terrorist attacks aiming Turkish soldiers and their families, demanding a separate Kurdish state. According to a Turkish opinion poll, 59% of self-identified Kurds in Turkey think that Kurds in Turkey do not seek a separate state (while 71.3% of self-identified Turks think they do).

Kurdish protests
The Kurds are an ethnic group who have historically inhabited the mountainous areas to the south of Caucasus (Zagros and Taurus mountain ranges), a geographical area collectively referred to as Kurdistan. Most Kurds speak an Indo-European language belonging to the Iranian branch.
There are various hypotheses as to predecessor populations of the Kurds, such as the Carduchoi of Classical Antiquity. The earliest known Kurdish dynasties under Islamic rule (10th to 12th centuries) are the Hasanwayhids, the Marwanids, the Shaddadids, followed by the Ayyubid dynasty founded by Saladin. The Battle of Chaldiran of 1514 is an important turning point in Kurdish history, marking the alliance of Kurds with the Ottomans. The Sharafnameh of 1597 is the first account of Kurdish history. Kurdish history in the 20th century is marked by a rising sense of Kurdish nationhood focussed on the goal of an independent Kurdistan as scheduled by the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920. Partial autonomy was reached by Kurdistan Uyezd (1923–1926) and by Iraqi Kurdistan (since 1991), while notably in Turkish Kurdistan, an armed conflict between the PKK and Turkish Armed Forces was ongoing 1984 to 1999, and the region continues to be unstable with renewed flaring up of violence in the 2000s.

Kurds in Syria

Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria and make up nine percent of the country’s population. Syrian Kurds have faced routine discrimination and harassment by the government.[3][4]
“Syrian Kurdistan” (Kurdish: Kurdistana Sûriyê) is an unofficial name used by some to describe the Kurdish inhabited regions of northern and northeastern Syria.[5] The northeastern Kurdish inhabited region covers the greater part of Hasakah Governorate. The main cities in this region are Qamishli and Hasakah. Another region with significant Kurdish population is Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab) in the northern part of Syria near the town of Jarabulus and also the city of Efrîn and its surroundings along the Turkish border.

Iranian Kurdistan is an unofficial name for the parts of Iran inhabited by Kurds and has borders with Iraq and Turkey. It includes Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province and Ilam Province and parts of West Azerbaijan Province.[2][3][4]
According to the last census conducted in 2006, the four Kurdish-inhabited provinces in Iran, West Azerbaijan (2,873,459), Kermanshah Province (1,879,385), Kurdistan Province (1,440,156), and Ilam Province (545,787) have a total population of 6,738,787. Pockets of Lurs inhabit the southern areas of Ilam Province.
From the 7 million Iranian Kurds, a significant portion are Shia. Shia Kurds inhabit Kermanshah Province, except for those parts where people are Jaff, and Ilam Province; as well as some parts of Kurdistan, Hamadan and Zanjan provinces. The Kurds of Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran are also adherents of Shia Islam. During the Shia revolution in Iran the major Kurdish political parties were unsuccessful in absorbing Shia Kurds, who at that period had no interest in autonomy. However, in the 1990s Kurdish nationalism seeped into the Shia Kurdish area.
Sandra Mackey , “The reckoning: Iraq and the legacy of Saddam”, W.W. Norton and Company, 2002. Excerpt from pg 350: “As much as 25% of Turkey is Kurdish.”^ “Kurdistan-Turkey”. GlobalSecurity.org. 2007-03-22. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
“In your opinion, do the Kurds want to have a separate state?” (Poll report). Public Perception of the Kurdish Question. Turkey: Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) and Pollmark. 2009. p. 63. ISBN 978-605-4023-06-6.

Top 10 Largest Armies in the World

1. China (2,290,000)

No doubt, this country is one of the emerging super powers of the world. With a total of 2,290,000 soldiers the country boasts the possession of the greatest number of tanks in the world. China also has one of the strongest air force equipped with more than 4000 jet planes.

Only time will decide that whether or not China would become a super power.

2. India (1,325,000)

The country has a total strength of 1,325,000soldiers as claimed by the Indian authorities. They have many advanced forms of missile and nuclear technology based bombs. At the same time, it also possesses very strong air and naval forces. Each year, the country spends a great amount of capital on the sector of defense.

3. Russia (1,027,000)

Russia is the former super power country of the world and one of the present strongest armies of the world. With a total of nearly 1,027,000 soldiers, this country is regarded as the 3rd largest army of the world. There are also a number of laws which are prevalent in the country binding the individuals between the ages of 18 to 27 to join the army.

4. North Korea (900,000)

With a total of more than 900,000 soldiers, this country is one of the highly dangerous military powers of the world. The country also has one of the largest war heads in the entire continent of Asia. The participation and role of this country in the Vietnam War and Korean War is the major reason behind its notoriousness.

5. Pakistan (617,000)
Possessing one of the most advanced nuclear missile technologies, Pakistan has the world’s 5th largest army. At the same time the country also has one of the most powerful air force and naval forces in the entire continent of Asia. The contributions of this country in the war against terrorism can never be denied.

6. South Korea (560,000)

With a total strength of 560,000 soldiers, South Korea has qualified for the 6th spot in our rankings. They also have a number of advanced prototype technologies, missiles and surveillance systems. Equipped with a large number of photon cannons, the country is now being regarded as one of the upcoming strongest armies of Asia.

7. The United States of America (550,000)

In terms of nuclear power and advanced weaponry, this country is no doubt the most powerful in the world. However, the military strength of this country is on the 7 th numberhaving a total of 550,000 individuals and maybe more than that. Also not to forget the strong and large naval force the country has which also makes it the best in terms of naval power.

8. Iraq (450,000)

Despite of the present foreign military attacks, the country has still managed to maintain a large army. In terms of strength, Iraq has the 8 th largest army in the whole world. However, the country lacks strong air force and naval capabilities.

9. Myanmar (406,000)
This country has an active military of 406,000along with the more than 72,000 parliamentary forces. Equipped with more than 10 land divisions and air force squadrons, the country has been ranked on number 9 in terms of large armies.

10. Iran (320,000)

With an active military power of more than 523,000 individuals, Iran has the 9 th largest army in the world. This country has shown a major transition in the exercising of military power during the past few years. The country has more than 20 air force squadrons and more than 15 land divisions which indeed points out to the ever increasing power of this country. 

Coconut Oil Hailed as ‘Miracle’ Dental Breakthrough

Looking for an alternative to toothpastes loaded with sulfates and other toxic ingredients such as fluoride?

Mainstream science has now fully recognized the ‘miracle’ powers of coconut oil to not only combat tooth decay and drastically improve overall mouth health, but also to specifically crush a yeast known as candida albicans that can lead to deadly infections. This ‘news’ likely comes as nothing more than further confirmation for many, as natural health practicioners have been recommending coconut oil for years.

The research comes from the Athlone Institute of Technology, where Ireland-based scientists examined the effects of natural and digested coconut oil on common strains of bacteria within the mouth. What they found was that not only did the coconut oil effectively inhibit a majority of the bacteria strains single-handedly, but it was also particularly harmful to candida albicans. This is important when considering the fact that an excessive amount of the yeast known as candida albicans can be brought upon by a poor diet consisting of processed foods and sugar.

Candida infection, also known as candida overgrowth or the ‘candy disease’, can be associated with symptoms like chronic tiredness, recurring yeast infections, and digestive issues. It can also lead to a mouth infection known as thrush — a condition typically ‘treated’ using anti-fungal medications preceeded by an x-ray of your esophagus. Now, researchers are highlighting how coconut oil intake can be an alternative solution with far less side effects and concerns.

In their report, the scientists state that coconut oil could be ‘an effective alternative to chemical additives’ in most dental hygiene products. This refers to the many sulfate chemicals linked to numerous conditions, added fluoride, and many others.

It is important to ensure that you purchase the right kind of high quality coconut oil when purchasing it online or from your local supermarket. An important consideration is that the scientists conducting the study may have actually used an inferior low quality coconut oil, meaning that the results may have actually been even more positive if they were to use a 100% organic, extra virgin source. As a general rule of thumb, just as with vitamins and other supplements, avoid purchasing a generic brand of non-organic coconut oil from your local chain market.

Instead, look for a USDA certified organic or 100% organic label that is unrefined and cold-pressed.  As a side note, coconut oil is also great to store as a preparedness food as it has a very long shelf life and is packed full of nutrients.