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The Arab uprisings and, in particular, the Syrian conflict have thrown most assumptions about the region and its borders into doubt, with relevance to the stateless Kurdish people.

The increasing autonomy of the Kurdish region of Iraq has been a dramatic change. The possibility that Syrian Kurdistan will go the same way has meant that traditional alliances have been questioned.

Turkey, traditionally hostile to Kurdish autonomy, has changed tack recently, pursuing peace with Turkish Kurds and building economic bridges with the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq.

Looking ahead, and bearing in mind the fragility of the Iraqi and Syrian polities and even the Iranian regime, some have talked of a ‘Kurdish Spring’, with the possibility of further autonomy or even the creation of a Kurdish state.

It is plausible that Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian Kurds will come out of the present instability with more autonomy but the situation is fraught with danger and further violence is possible for a number of reasons.

A pan-Kurdish state is unlikely to emerge in the foreseeable future.

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