From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Emirate of Kirkuk

Location of Kirkuk
Official languagesKurdish, Arabic
GovernmentIslamic Absolute Monarchy

The Emirate of Kirkuk is a sovereign state in the Mesopotamian region, ruled by an Islamic absolute monarchy. It is home to a Kurdish majority and large Arab population, and is ruled by the Baban dynasty. It is also the home of Turkic and Assyrian minorities. Kirkuk was originally part of the Ottoman Empire until it gained independence in 1939, following the Ottoman defeat in the Great War. Kirkuk is a founding member of the Mesopotamian League, formed in 1966.


Early History

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the Kirkuk region dates back to the 3rd millennium BC, where ancient Assyrian inscriptions identify the region as Arrapha, an important city-state in the Assyrian kingdom. It was subsequently ruled by the Medes, the Achaemenid Empire, the Seleucids, and the Parthian and Sassanian Empires. In the post-classical era, Kirkuk fell into the hands of the Islamic Caliphates, starting from the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century. It was during this time that the region experienced significant Islamization.

Modern History

Baban Dynasty and the Great War

In the modern era, the Babans, originally rulers of a Kurdish principality, were suppressed by the Ottomans in the 19th century as part of centralization efforts. They remained relatively subdued until the discovery of the Kirkuk oil field in 1924 by an Austrian oil baron. The discovery of oil in Kirkuk led to the creation of a pipeline in 1927 from Kirkuk to Haifa, a project undertaken by the Austrians and Ottomans to facilitate easy oil exports to Austria. When the Ottomans became involved in the Great War, a period of resistance against Ottoman rule was triggered, during which the Babans instigated rebellion and sabotaged the pipeline.

Formation of the Emirate

Following the Congress of Amsterdam, the Babans successfully re-established their rule with Kirkuk as their capital.


The Emirate of Kirkuk is the only majority-Kurdish state among the Mesopotamian states, leading to a distinct culture significantly different from the Arab-majority states in the region.


Kirkuk's economy is heavily reliant on its oil reserves, the largest among the Mesopotamian states. The oil industry, bolstered by the Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline, dominates the economy, with significant British investment making the region strategically important.

See also