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Will 'Kurdish Spring' redraw Middle East map?

A critic looks at “Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East,” a new book by David Phillips that could become a main reference on the Kurdish struggle.
Syrian ethnic Kurds demonstrate after Friday prayers in the Syrian town of Qamishli May 6, 2011. The banner reads "We call for a new constitution in which all sects and nationalities in the country can participate".   REUTERS/Handout (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR2M2TY

It was almost three years ago that Barham Salih, then prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), on seeing me for the first time after an unusually long interval, shouted from the distance, even before we greeted each other: “The Kurdish moment has arrived!”

His jubilant mood reflected the sentiments shared by most of the Kurds around the region. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring upheavals that started in North Africa, rapidly moved to the Levant and took a violent turn in Syria, the insurgent organization of the Kurds of Turkey had begun to issue calls to begin a “Kurdish Spring” by the year 2011. The KRG’s self-confidence was boosted by international oil magnates rushing in to explore and produce Kurdistani hydrocarbons, bringing with them not only the technological inputs but also the much-needed legitimacy for the quasi-independent Kurdish entity.

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