The Kurdish people, or Kurds, are an Iranic people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. They speak the Kurdish language, which is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. The Kurds number about 30 million, the majority living in the Middle East, with significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia, Lebanon and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States. The Kurds are an indigenous ethnic minority in the countries of the Kurdistan region, although they have enjoyed partial autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991. An irredentist movement pushes for the creation of a Kurdish nation state. The exact origins of the name "Kurd" are unclear. Reynolds believes that the term Kurd is most likely related to the ancient term Qardu.
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