3,950,000 first language speakers (1980), out
of 6,500,000 in the ethnic group in Turkey (1993 Johnstone); 938,000 in
Syria (1993); 480,000 in Germany, 51,000 in Armenia (1979), 25,000 in Kazakhstan;
14,000 in Kyrghyzstan (1993), 2,933 in Turkmenistan, 20,000 in Azerbaijan
(1989 census), 33,000 in Georgia (1993); 4,000 in Jordan; 173,000 in Lebanon;
200,000 in Iran; 22,000 in Belgium; 40,000 in Netherlands; 3,000 in Norway;
10,000 in Sweden; 53,000 in Switzerland; 6,000 in United Kingdom; 7,000,000
to 8,000,000 in all countries (1987 estimate); 12,000,000 to 15,000,000
total ethnic Kurds including Kurdi speakers. The majority are in the provinces
of Hakkari, Siirt, Mardin, Agri, Diyarbakir, Bitlis, Bingol, Van, Adiyaman,
and Mus. Also many in Urfa, Elazig, Kars, Tunceli, Malatya, Erzurum, Kahraman
Maras, Sivas, Ankara, and other provinces. Also in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait,
France, Austria, USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern,
Kurdish. Dialects: GUWII, HAKKÂRI, JEZIRE (BOTAN, BOHTÂNI, BUHTÂNI), URFI,
BÂYAZIDI, SURCHI, QOCHÂNI, BIRJANDI, ALBURZ, SANJÂRI, JUDIKÂNI. Differences
in speaking among dialects, but all use the same written form. Distinct
from Kurdi (Southern Kurdish).
Ethnic names also include Doudjik, Kizibakh. Not
many are very bilingual in Turkish. Roman script is used in Turkey; Arabic
script in Syria, Iraq, and Iran; Cyrillic script in former USSR. Armenian
script is not used now. 28% literacy rate. Language of wider communication.
Mountain slope. Traditionally pastoralists, now agriculturalists. Muslim
(Sunni and Alevi), some Yezidi, secular.