Kurds in Kazakhstan

Kurds in Kazakhstan
Total population
38,325 (0,2%)
(2011 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Almaty Province, Jambyl Province, South Kazakhstan Province[4][5]
Kazakh, Kurdish, Russian[4]
Overwhelmingly Islam
Related ethnic groups
Iranian people (Yazidis, Zazas)

Kurds in Kazakhstan refers to the people born in or residing in Kazakhstan who are of Kurdish origin. According to the most recent Kazakh census in 2011, the Kurdish population is 38,325 or 0,2% of the population,[1] but Vice President of the Kurdish Association of Kazakhstan, Malikshah Gasanov numbers the population up to 46,000,[3] because many Kurds list themselves as Turks and Azeris.[4] Most of the Kurdish population in Kazakhstan were deported by Stalin from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Years later, Kurds immigrated to Kazakhstan from the neighbouring countries, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.[3]

In cities with a substantial Kurdish population, Kurdish literature and Kurdish language is taught in the primary and secondary schools. In the village of Kashkabulak, Kurdish students can study Kurdish through 12th grade.[3] And since 1990, Kurds also have had their own newspaper, the Kurdistan newspaper.[3]

Religion among Kazakh Kurds[1]

  Islam (98.3%)
  Christianity (0.52%)
  Atheist and non-religious (0.7%)
  Other and undeclared (0.39%)
  Judaism (0.02%)
  Buddhism (0.01%)

Mother tongue among Kazakh Kurds[1]

  Kurdish (88.7%)
  Other languages (11.3%)

Deportation and immigration

Kurds were deported twice to Central Asia from Caucasia. The first deportation occurred in 1937 where Stalin deported Kurds from Nakhchivan and the second deportation occurred in 1944 in Georgia. Stalin feared a Turkish invasion and he saw Kurds as unreliable, even though many Kurds served in the Soviet military. Many of them died during the deportations.[4]

After the Osh riots and the riots in Fergana Valley between Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks, many Kurds moved to Kazakhstan.[4]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Table 4.1.1 Population by individual ethnic groups" (PDF). Government of Kazakhstan. stat.kz. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  2. "Kazakhstan: Ethnic Minorities Guaranteed Seats In Parliament". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Kazakhstan: A paradise for ethnic minorities". Kurdish Media. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Ustina Markus; Didar Kassymova; Zhanat Kundakbayeva (2012). Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan. p. 166. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  5. People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan. p. 203. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
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