The British Administration of South Kurdistan and Local Responses, 1918-1932

2017-07-03T11:55:27Z (GMT) by Hawkar Muheddin Jalil
A few days after signing the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918, British forces occupied the Ottoman province of Mosul, after which its future was a central factor in the formulation of post-war British policy in the region. In general, the studies of this period suffer from discontinuity and lack cohesion. We are dealing with partial accounts and imperfect narrations written from the standpoint of ideological, ethnic and political interests. By means of an examination of the factors influencing British decision-makers, this study seeks to answer the question why British policy came to support the inclusion of the Mosul vilayet within Iraq, rather than to be restored to the new Turkish republic or to be allowed to become a separate Kurdish state in south Kurdistan, although the Kurds were supposed to have self-determination. This study contests the common argument that the oil was the crucial factor, and instead it explores the contribution of all of the economic, political and strategic arguments considered by British policy-makers. It concludes that the security priority of stabilizing the newly-created state of Iraq was the most significant element in British decisions on the Mosul question. The geo-strategic, economic and racial position of the Kurds in southern Kurdistan were critical to both the British perspective and the League of Nations‟ decision for the inclusion of the Mosul vilayet in Iraq. It became clear that British policy towards the Mosul question was quite successful in achieving its interests in both the internal and external arenas, but it left the political and territorial question of the Kurds unresolved, and this can be described as the unexploded bomb in the region.

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