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Kurdish studies in Russia in the early 20th century


We consider the history of studying the history of Kurds in Russia in the early 20th century. The plans of cooperation between the Russians and Kurds against the Ottoman Empire are analyzed. We consider the socio-political and research activities of Russian politicians and scientists in the framework of solving the Kurdish issue. Research on Kurdistan, which began in the 19th century, continued and developed in Russia. Along with military and strategic studies, there were studies of Kurdish clans and Kurdish society. In addition to Russian scientists, Russian diplomats also contributed to the development of Kurdish studies. Before World War I, Russia tried to establish consulates and shopping centers in Kurdish cities. In the early of 20th century in Russia, Kurdish studies were developing rapidly, which was due to both the international situation and the activity of well-trained specialists-orientalists. Often they, like V.F. Minorsky and I.A. Orbeli, combined official (diplomatic) and research activities. Active role in the formation and development of Kurdish studies played N.I. Marr and A.S. Shamilov, who had no formal linguistic education and has been at the epicenter of political processes in the Soviet historiography and linguistics (repression, criticism of “marisma”). Despite the complex political processes of the early 20th century, it was during this period that the main ideas about Kurdish history and the Kurdish language were formed, and the main scientific schools were formed, which were developed after 1945.


history of the Kurds; Kurdish issue; Kurdistan; Kurdish studies; history of Russia; international situation in the early 20th century; N.Y. Marr; V.F. Minorsky; I.A. Orbeli; A.S. Shamilov

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National history

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