The Kurds () are an ethnic group in the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a contiguous area spanning adjacent parts of modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, a geo-cultural region often referred to as “Kurdistan”. The Kurds have ethnically diverse origins. The Kurdish languages form a subgroup of the Northwestern Iranian languages. The Kurds number about 40 million, the majority living in West Asia, including significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey outside of Kurdistan. A recent Kurdish diaspora has developed in Western countries, primarily in Germany. The Kurds are in the majority in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and in the autonomous region of Syrian Kurdistan and are a significant minority group in the neighboring countries Turkey and Iran, where Kurdish nationalist movements continue to pursue (greater) autonomy.