Unlike Afghanistan or Yemen, both barren desert places with little natural resources, Kurdistan it seems is an oasis. It actually has both farm land ,and rain, It provides a 1/3 of the wheat for Iran & did provide a 1/4 of the cereal for Turkey, which is heavily mountainous and populated. Since the land is arable and fertile, no small thing in such overly cultivated regions obviously the alluvial rains have helped a lot there as did their nomadic lifestyle not allowing for overgrazing, they still can raise sheep and goats.
|maps from the Yidliz book on the Kurdish Region. Compare it to the one below of the actual political layout.
But politics changes everything, and jealous of their natural resources, their rich neighbors have put up lots of dams on the Euphrates and the Tigris. This Yidliz cites has caused major displacement amongst the Kurds, as while historically nomadic, a lot of that changed after the First World War as people began to settle down and became urbanized. That means that there are several generations that have forgotten the nomadic lifestyle and are city-reliant, just like the rest of us in the urbanised world.
( Canadian Keith Holmes shows the effect of the damming of the rivers on Shatt al Arab here
and the subsequent increased salinization of the area which ultimately leads to land death i.e.a desert enviro. )
So, ignorant of farming, and the methods of tilling and stock-raising of goats, chickens and sheep they look for another similar urban environment to work and live, but that is at a premium in the Middle East and instead they have landless and lost, easily manipulated like the Afghani and Yemeni populace & in turn heavily recruited for jihadi, as they have nothing else to do with their lives. It is no doubt a vicious circle. The Turks who need their cereal, do not need the Kurds to provide it and so like 100 years ago when Turkey slaughtered the Armenians for land, the Kurds once again are dispossessed.
The Euphrates is obviously mentioned in Chapter 2 Genesis. It
flows from the Caucasus mountains southwesterly across east-central Turkey, and then generally southeast through Syria and Iraq, ending in the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The Tigris, thought to be the 4th river in the Good Book, starts in southern Iraq, and continues as the Shatt al Arab. Overall it’s (2,235 miles or 3,596 km) in length, and is certainly the longest river in the Middle East. Historically important in ancient history, the once great city of Babylon stood on its bank
The map is from Keith Holmes’ MapTalker site. He has a lot of good cartography that helps.