Early Modern History

1497 – 1918

This period in the history of the Kurds is one of steady decline in every aspect of their national life, with the possible exception of literature.  An important proportion of the nation also found itself deported to far-away regions in the course of the 250 years from ca. 1500 to 1750.

An energetic, industrious, and reasonably worldly Kurdish society at the beginning of the period had turned into one of the most backward and devastated societies in the Middle East by the end of the period.  There were two primary causes of this decline: 1) the division of the Middle East into two, warring empires, Persians and the Ottoman, with their line of fire being the heartland of Kurdistan, and more importantly, 2) the utter economic isolation of Kurdistan resulting from the epoch-making shift in international trade routes.


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