Monday, 11 June 2012, 08:29 GMT
Corcura's burning naphtha spring and the petit pashas in Baghdad


Flame coming out of an oil well in the Baba Gurgur field in Kurdistan./PRESS PHOTO

The Kurdish Globe
By Behrooz Shojai

Centuries of sources to enlighten Arab ignorance

Some years ago when I passed by Kirkuk, I couldn't help but notice Baba Gurgur's blazing flames from a distance. It must have been a real experience for people of ancient times. Corcura's ever burning flames never went out and its mystery and beauty even inspired fire worshiping. And it must have been really something to remember for occidentals. I could notice their amazement when reading their description of Kirkuk and its "naphtha springs", as they called it.

And why was I interested in what they witnessed in Kirkuk? Well, it started by the Ottoman efforts to centralize the Porte's weak control over its subjects and vassal states. It started with the Ottoman sultanate's dismissal. It started with the creation of the state of Iraq. It started with Baath Party seizure of power. It started with the Arabization of Kirkuk. It started through Saddam's Anfal campaign and it is continuing with Maliki's efforts to include Kirkuk within his dominion.

While the Kurds systematically ascertain the Kurdish identity of Kirkuk, Maliki and his companions constantly express the Iraqi identity of the same. Exactly what he means by Iraqiness is not certain. Of course, talking about Kirkuk's Arabic identity would disclose some similarities between the discourse of Baathist and Maliki's so called Iraqi one. In sheer curiosity I searched among older sources and found surprising accounts. The European sources, including geographic descriptions, historical accounts, anthropological surveys and travel writings all testify one thing - it was, it has and it is a Kurdish city. Some even called it the capital of Ottoman Kurdistan.

Kirkuk was used as an achilles's heel against the Kurdish movement in the seventies. If not for Kirkuk, the agreement in the seventies could perhaps have endured against Baghdad's schemes to win time and curtail the Kurdish movement from international support. But for the Kurds it was all or nothing. Was it because of the oil? I am not so sure, because when reading history, Kirkuk is clearly about more than just oil wells.

Kirkuk is part and parcel of the Kurdish history, Kurdish geography, Kurdish national narrative and memory. Kirkuk is the fate of thousands of Kurdish citizens. It is the never ending story of the Kurds constantly being thrown out of their homes. Kirkuk is the story of the Kurdish families who met death and fell to the tragedies of Anfal campaigns due to Baghdadi Pashas cupidity. This cupidity resulted in a demographic engineering that was dreadfully performed by a megalomaniac. The ironic is that the one now in charge in Baghdad is not a vassal pasha of the Porte; it is rather a puppet of the Porte's former antagonist.

When you and another side have two different ideas about the same thing and your notion is based on fact, your point of departure is three assumptions; the other side's idea is based on ignorance, stupidity or malevolence. I shall try to be less judgmental about those I consider to be on the wrong side, so I omit the last two alternatives, hoping that the Iraqi authorities are rather ignorant than the other two.

In my somehow naïve attempt I thought maybe I would enlighten them. And I wanted to be sure about what I already believed in.

I searched among those sources that are available to me; Western history books, school books, geographic descriptions of places, manuals and travel writings. I went as far back as the end of 18th century and hundred years forward, and I will let the sources talk their language, hoping that these accounts will be a slight help to enlighten the Iraqi petit puppet from jahiliya ... the Arabic kind of ignorance.

Histoire moderne des chinois, des japonais, des indiens, des persans, des Turcs, des Russiens, etc. Vol 8 François-Marie de Marsy, Paris (1766:304-305)

Curdistan - This province North of Iraq-Arabi, is a significant portion of the former Assyria. It extends obliquely to the east of the Tigris, between 35 and 38 degree latitude in the length of about sixty leagues. Its cities are Cherasoul or Kerkouk, the capital of the country, built upon a large rock on which its houses are carved out [...]

Méthode pour étudier la géographie, Vol VII, N. Lenglet Dufresnoy, Paris (1768 :158,159)

III. Turkish Curdistan, or the Government of Sherezour.

The Curdes are an ancient people whose origin is uncertain. [...] They occupy the country to the east of the Tigris and north of Baghdad: they are found even in neighboring provinces of Armenia & Algezira in addition to those in Persia. They have small cheicks or Princes, who are still in division against one other. Turks maintain this division, since they have stripped their main Princes of their states, and forced them to flee to Persia. [...] The Bacha of the province is resided Sherezour or Cheresoul, a town built between two mountains, on the Diala River, which flows into the Tigris. But the residence of the officer is in Kerkouk, another small town fifteen miles westward from the previous, and where there is a strong fortress on a high place.

Géographie Moderne, Vol II, N. la Croix, Paris (1769 :141/1773 :145/1777 :202/1784 :202/1786 :202/1800 :203/1806:298,299 /1817:161)

III. Curdistan or the country of the Curdes

The country was formerly called Corduenne, from which the name of the Curdes originates. This people are widespread in the Western part of Persia, in Diarbeck and Yrac. They have many princes called Beys or Emirs. Some recognize the Grand-Seigneur (Ottoman caliph), the others the Persians and some are independent. Kerkouk [is] the capital of Turkish Curdistan. It is located in South-west towards the mountains. It is a considerable town and the residence of the Pasha, who has thirty-two Sangiacs under him. The Persians conquered it in 1734 .. 1743.

Mémoires de littérature, Vol 59 Académie royale des inscriptions et belles lettres, Paris (1773 :81-82)

Sheher-Zour is situated on a plain that is surrounded by the high mountains of Kurdistan. [...]But now the Pasha in command for this government has moved his residence to Kerkouk a small town on the hills, having a castle that serves as a defense.

La parfaite intelligence du commerce, vol I, J. B. A. Malisset d'Hertereau, Paris (1785 :158)

Division of Asiatique Turkey : [...] Diarbeck [...] {Curdistan, or the country of the Curdes {Kerkouk, a little distance from Betlis. Betlis, on the river of Bendmahi. Erbil, the town of the commerce.

Atlas moderne portatif, J. B. Bourguignon, Paris (1786 :34)

Curdistan our country of the Curdes, [...] capital Kerkouk, major town Erbil, the ancient Arbelle.

Les usages le la sphère: et des globes céleste et terrestre, C. F. Delamarche, Paris (1799:399)

Kerkouk or Kierkikouk, capital of Turkish Curdistan, situated southeast of the mountains, is a considerable town, where the pasha resides. It has 32 sangiacs.

Voyage dans l'Empire Othoman, l'Egypte et la Perse, vol IV, G. A. Olivier, Paris (1801:300)

Kerkouk was for a long time included in the pashalik of Sherhzour. Then it had a pasha for two periods, but now Sherhzour and everything to the east of the Tigris, from the Grand-Zarb and even Curdistan belong to the pashalik of Baghdad. Kerkouk has only a mutselim that the Pasha sends to it.

Géographie Mathématique, Physique et Politique de Toutes les Parties du Monde, Vol X, E. Mentelle, C. Malte-Brun, P. Herbin De Halle, Paris (1803 :413)

Curdistan-We have already discussed the habits of the Kurds who wander with their flocks in Anatolia and Greece. Their native country is the mountainous region that stretches between Lake Van and Urumia in north, the Euphrates to the west and south, and Persia to the east. This country is fertile in pastures. There are saltpeter, sulfur and native sources of naphtha, which, even as we are assured, form a considerable stream. Schérézour today seems to be the residence of a Kurdish pasha, who, probably, only enjoys very little authority. Kerkouk, in the high mountains, is, according to others, the real capital of Kurdistan.

Cours complet de cosmographie, de géographie, de chronologie et d'histoire, E. Mentelle, Paris (1804:152-153)

There is a small country East of Tigris, therefore a part of Mesopotamia. It stretches from southern borders of Armenia to Babylonia. Today it is called Kourdistân, formed from the old name of Carduci or Carduque. Its main locations are:

Nineve on the Tigris (opposite the present city called Mosul), based by Ninus from the early Periods'

Arbéle (Erbil) main town in a small province called Adiebéne , Finally

Demetrias, which appears from Ptolemy. Its proper name was Corcura (found in the current name of Kerkouk). It still has naphtha sources, which the ancients spoke of.

Reise durch das türkische Reich, Ägypten und Persien "Von 1792, Vol I, G. A. Olivier, Theophil, F. Ehrmann, (1805:612,613)

Kerkuk belonged for a long period to the Pashalik of Sherhzur, but after two pashas, nowadays, Kerkuk, Sherhzur and entire east of Tigris River and the Great Zarb in Kurdistan has only a Mutselim who is the subject of the Pasha in Baghdad.

Encyclopædia Londinensis, Vol XI, John Wilkes, London (1812:684)

Kerkuk, a town of Curdistan, the capital of a government, and residence of Pacha. It is surrounded with walls, and defended by a castle: 150 miles north of Bagdad, and 85 east-south-east of Mosul.

A Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire, J. Macdonald Kinneir, London (1813:298)

Kerkook, which was formerly a Roman station, entitled Demetrias by Strabo and Corcura by Ptolemy, is
the largest town in the Lower Kurdistan. [...].

Zeitschrift für die neueste Geschichte die Staaten- und Völkerkunde, Vol I, Fr. Rühs, S. H. Spiker, Berlin (1814:304-305)

There are several sources of this liquid in [...] Lower Kurdistan. The most important are in the vicinity of Kerkuk ad Mendali [...].

Geographisch-statistische beschreibung aller staaten und nationen der erde, G. C. Fick, Nürnberg (1817:138)

Schehresur, with a fortress in Kerkuk. Houses are carved out as caves, to which one must climb [...]. This [area] belong to five Kurdish princes, or Emirs, settled principalities, among which Betlis... Beg, an independent Kurdish prince. [...]

Abrégé de la Nouvelle Géographie Universelle, Vol II, W. Guthrie, Paris (1819:308-309)

Curdistan or Kurdistan. This mountainous country includes Corduène and Adiabène. Many cattle feed in its superb evergreen pasturages. [...] This region includes four major principalities, namely those of Betlis, Giulamerk, Dgesira, [..and] Kara Dgiolan, the largest Kurdish principality, [which] contains the entire Southern Kurdistan. [...] The two small Kurdish pachalics of Scherezour and Kerkouk, now ruled by mousselims or commissaries, appear to be dismemberments of the principality of Kara Dgiolan.

The general gazetteer: or, Compendious geographical dictionary, R. Brookes, London (1820:443)

Kerkouk, a city of Kurdistan, the capital of a district and residence of a pashaw. It is surrounded by a mud wall, and on an eminence that is nearly perpendicular on all sides, below which is an extensive suburb. [...]

A new universal gazetteer, J. Morse, R. Morse, New-Haven (1821:368)

Kerkook, t. A Turkey, the largest in Lower Kurdistan. Pop. About 13.000. [...]

Compendio di geografia moderna ad uso della gioventù, G. S. Reitmeir, Napoli (1821:234)

3. Hurdistan, or the land of the Kurds. [...] The people who live there are nomadic shepherds, are subject to an Emir, which depends on the pacha, whose residence is Kerkouk, the chief town.

Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, ancient Babylonia, &c. &c ..., Vol II, R. K. Porter, London (1822:439)

Kirkook is regarded as one of the most considerable places in Lower Courdistan; which, extending from the north-western frontiers of Khuzistan, to the high mountainous passes of Courdistan (the ancient Carduchia) comprehends almost the whole of Assyria Proper.

Allgemeines repertorium der literatur, vol III, C. D. Beck, Leipzig (1822:106))

Kirkuk in Lower Kurdistan (Demetrias by Strabo, Corcura by Ptolemy), naphtha springs burning on hills.

The Oriental magazine, and Calcutta review, Vol I, W. Thacker, Calcutta (1823:584)

The Kirkook naphtha is principally consumed by the markets in the south-west of Curdistan [...]

Nouveau Dictionnaire Géographique Universel, J. MacCarthy, Paris (1824:662)

Kerkout, a town in lower-Kourdistan (Asian Turkey), situated on an elevated landscape. Poplulation
18.000. Latitude north 43.42.1, east 33.9.
Universal geography: or A description of all parts of the world, Vol I, C. Malte-Brun, Philadelphia (1827: 340)

Koordistan, or the country of the Kurds, [...] The Largest principality of this country is Kara Djiolan, with a capital town of the same name. [...] The two small pashâlics of Sherzour and Kerkouk, governed by mousselims or superindendants, appear to be formed by forcible encroachments on the principality of Kara-Djiolan.

The geography system of Herodotus examined and explained, by a comparison, Vol I, J. Rennell, London (1830:515)

The name Kir is traceable at present in that country. The loftiest ridge of the Kurdistan mountains (Carduchian) is named Kiarè, according to M. Otter. The province adjacent is Hakiari (Niebuhr); the Kiouran tribe of the Kourds inhabits eastern part; Kerkook, a larg town and other places of less consequence, have the prefixture Ker or Kir to them. It is possible that the name of the Carduchian people may have had the same rout.

The Edinburgh encyclopaedia, Vol VII, D Brewster, Edinburgh (1830:510)

Curdistan - [...] In Curdistan there are several considerable towns and hamlets. The largets of the towns of Lower Curdistan is Kerkook. [...]

A new universal gazetteer, containing a description of the principal nations, J Marshall, New York (1832:418)

Kerkuk, a town of Curdistan, the capital of a government and residence of a pacha. [...]

Traité Classique de Géographie contenant la Géographie Naturelle et la Géographie Politique, Vol II, C. L. Grandperret, Paris (1834:309)

2. Kurdistan comprises the following pashalics:

Van ... Van, Khochab, Bayazid, Djoulamerk

Kars ... Kars, Ani, Ardanoudgi

Chehrzour ... Kerkouk, Chehrzour, Baïan

Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol III, L Chancellor, J. Russell, W. Tooke; London (1835:268)

[...] Sulimanieh, Kerkook and Erbil are the principal towns of Turkish Koordistan : Sulimanieh is the capital of a pashalic of the same name ; the territories of which are more extensive than those of any other chief in the part of the country, [...]

Dictionnaire géographique universel, Vol II, A. J. Kilian, Paris (1836:727)

Chehrezour, a pashalic in Asiatic Turkey, forming the major part of Kurdistan. [...] The turks divided this pashalic into 20 sandjaks, whose limits are unknown, and is governed by hereditary and independent Kurdish princes. Its financial administration is in Kerkouk, and a mutesellim, [...] is resided in Chehrezour, the chief-town of the pashalic.

Précis de la géographie universelle, Vol VIII, C. Malte-Brun, Paris (1835:161-165)

Kurdistan, or the land of the Kurds, [...] the largest Kurdish principality is Kara Djolan or Chehrezour, with a capital of the same name. [...] The Kurdish princes of Betlis, Djoulamerk, Amadieh, Jezireh, Karadjolan and Sulaimaniyah [...] are rather vassals than subjects of the Porte. [...] Kerkouk appears to be a city of 15000 souls. It is built on a mountain, surrounded by walls and defended by a citadel. [...] Kerkouk is the former Corcura, who bore the name of Demetrias and Memius.

A universal gazetteer; or, Geographical dictionary of the world, G. T. Landmann, London (1835:384)

Kerkouk, or Kirkook, a city of Asia, Turkey, Kurdistan, the capital of a district, on an eminence that is nearly perpendicular on all sides, and is surrounded by a mud wall with towers, below which is an extensive suburb, with gardens producing olives, pears, and grapes. [...] Kerkouk is situated 135 m Southwest of Betlis. [...]

Traité élémentaire de géographie, M.M. Cortambert & H. Laurent, Paris (1838:186)

Turkish Kurdistan [...] Pashalic: Chehrezour, Population: 155,000, chief town: Kerkouk

Géographie universelle, physique, politique et historique ..., Vol 3, W. Guthrie, Paris (1839:269-273)

Chehrezour. This pashalik forms the major part of Kurdistan, borders on north with Van, south with pashalik of Baghdad and in the west with those of Mosul and Diarbekir. [...] It has few towns but many forts. This pashalik is divided into 20 sanjaks whose limits are unknown, they are almost all owned by independent and hereditary Kurdish princes. [...] Its financial administration is Kerkuk. [....]

The American journal of science, Volym 37, no 2, New Haven (1839:353)

The Kirkook Naptha...The Kirkook Naphtha is black, and is consumed in the S. W. of Courdistan.

The etymological compendium: Treasury of Knowledge, part II, Samuel Maunder, London (1840:77)

Kerkouk. or Kirkook, a city of Kurdistan, the capital of a district. Lon. 44 33 E., lat. 35 29 N.

Leçon de Gégraphie, M. E. Cortambert, Paris (1840:247)

Kurdistan is comprised of two pachalics: Moussoul with a major city with same name, situated on the banks of Tigris. Erbil, the ancient Arbèle, is situated east of Moussoul. [...] The pachalic of lower Kurdistan is called Chehrezour with the chief-town of Kerkouk.

Notion Élémantaires de Statistique, J. J. D'Omalius D'Halloy, Bruxelles (1840:171)

The possessions of Ottoman Empire in Asia: [...] Pashalic: Chehrezour, Towns Baian, Cherezour, Erbil, Kerkouk, Country: Kurdistan [...]

Die Erdkunde im Verhältniss zur Natur und zur Geschichte des ..., Vol I, C. Ritter, Berlin (1841:266)

Kerkuk, town in Kurdistan.

Abrégé de géographie, A. Balbi, Paris (1842:677)

Ottoman Kurdistan, itself comprises the following Eyalets:

Cehrezour: Kirkuk, Chehrezour (formerly the seat of the Pasha) Erbil, Baïan. Kurdish principalities of Amadia, Suleïmanieh or Sindian, Koï and Kouran are vassals of the Ottoman Empire. [...]

Instituzione Elementari di Geografia, Ferdinando de Luca, Napoli (1843:86)

The Ottoman Kurdistan with main ejalet of Chehrezour, whose chief-town is Kerkouk. [...]

M'urs, usages et costumes de tous les peuples du monde, Vol II, A. Wahlen, Bruxelles (1843:512,513)

Kourdistan, now a province of Turkey in Asia, is known as the Ottoman Kourdistan [...]. It is certain that once it formed the two pashalicks of Mosul and Chehrezour, and now includes following cities:

Giulamerk or Djoulamerk, capital of the principality of the same name [...] Amadia is the capital of the Badinan Kurds who live west of the Principality of Djoulamerk, between Mosul and Betlis. Djeziréh in pashalick of Diarbékir. We see the center of this city, the capital of a principality whose inhabitants are called Bottani [...] The largest is the Kurdish principality of Karadjolan or Chehrezour, including the capital with the same name. This country including all the southern Kurdistan may establish 15.000 riflemen. Kerkouk is a city of 15,000 souls, built on a mountain, surrounded by walls, defended by a citadel. [...] Erbil (ancient Arbela, immortalized by the defeat of Darius and the fall of the Persian monarchy) is defended by a stone fort, and in the middle of fertile plains.

Nouveau manuel complet et méthodique des aspirants au baccalauréat ès-lettres A. É. Lefranc, Paris (1844:104)

The Ottoman Kurdistan is inhabited by the Kurds, who are rather vassals than subjects of the Porte. They are a nomadic people, good riders, ruled by a small crowd of princes. The major cities are Chehrezour, Kerkouk, Erbil, etc.

Application de la géographie à l'histoire, vol I, Édouard Braconnier, Paris (1845:406)

Asiatic Turkey contains six main parts: 1 Analolie or Asia Minor, forming six pachalicks, taking the names of their capitals Koutaièh, Konieh (Carmania), Adanah, Marash, Sivas, Trebizond. [...] 3 Kourdistan, forming the pashalick of Chehrezour; the residence of the Pasha is transported to Kirkuk. [...]

A dictionary of scripture geography, J. R Miles, Manchester (1846:57)

[...] The pashalics of Kirkook and Solimania also comprise part of Upper Curdistan. Lower Curdistan comprises the entire level tract to the east of the Tigris, and the minor ranges immediately bounding the plains, and reaching thence to the foot of the great range, which may justly be denominated the Alps of western Asia.

Abrégé de Géographie, A. Balbi, Paris (1847:677)

Ottoman Kurdistan includes the following Eyalets: Chehrezour [..] Kerkouk, Chehrezour (formerly the residence of the Pasha) Erbil, Baïan. Kurdish principalities [...] are only vassals of the Ottoman Empire.


Bericht über die Mittheilungen von Freunden der Naturwissenschaften in Wien, W. Haidinger, Vienna (1848:450)

Ainsworth's supposed Cretaceous coal-bearing strata in southern Kurdistan in Kerkuk and Suleimanich to belong here too.

Jewish Missionary intelligence, Vol XIV, London (1848:295)

Kerkuk is a place of some note, it contains a good many Jewish, Christian and Moslem Inhabitants. It properly speaking, belongs to the Kurdish territory [...]

A dictionary, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical of countries, places and principal natural objects in the world, Daniel Haskel, Vol II, New York (1849:107)

Kerkouk (Demetrias, Strabo; Corcura, Ptol.) a large town of Asiatic Turkey, in Lower Kurdistan, the capital Sandjiak.


Handbuch der Erdbeschreibung, Volym 2, A. Balbi, Braunschweig (1850:56)

III. Turkish Kurdistan comprises the following eyalets: [...] Schehresor. Kerkuk, Schehresur, formerly the residence of the Pasha.

The Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, Volym 1, J. Kitto, New York (1851:245)

The pasha of Mosul is nominated by the Porte, but is subject to the pasha of Bagdad; there is also a pasha at Solymaniah and Akra; a bey at Arbil, a mutsellim at Kirkook. But the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, and of the whole mountain-tract that divides Turkey from Persia, are the Kurds, the Carduchii of the Greeks; from them a chain of these mountains were anciently called the Carduchian or Gordyæan, and from them now country is designated Kurdistan.

Journal des savants, Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris (1852 :621)

In Kerkouk the traveler will encounter the Corcura of Ptolemy. It is the capital of Scheherzour, a name that refers to a city of Kurdistan.

Histoire de l'Empire ottoman: depuis son origine jusqu'à nos jours, Vol IX, J. Hammer-Purgstall, Paris (1852:59)

Early in May (May 5, 1625), the new Grand Vizier went to plant their tents in the plain near Tschekouk Diarbekr, while Beglerbeg of Karamanie, Tscherkesse-Hasan, who had wintered near Hossnkeïf came against a detachment of the Persian army encamped in the neighborhood of Kerkouk in Kurdistan.

Histoire de Constantinople, comprenant le Bas-Empire et l'Empire ottoman, vol II, B. Poujoulat, Paris (1853:324)

Topal won another victory over the Persians, but Nadir defeated him completely after a few days (October 1733), near Kerkouk, now the capital of Ottoman Kurdistan.

The English cyclopædia: a new dictionary of Universal Knowledge, Vol V, C. Knight, New York (1854:823)

Kurdistan is altogether a hilly country. [...] Suleimania, Kerkuk and Erbil are the principal towns.

Tableau historique, politique et pittoresque de la Turquie et de la Russie, Joubert, F Mornand, Paris (1854 : 110-111)

The eyalets of Kurdistan are part of Diarbekir and Chehrezour. Kurdistan is a great plain bounded on the north by the Taurus, to the east and west between Persia and the Mesopotamia. [...] We must also mention Chehrezour, seat of government Kerkouk, Schirwan and Jazira.

Kenny's School geography; or, Earth and Heaven, S. Kenny, London (1856:72)

Divisions."Turkey in Asia may be divided into seven parts: 1. Asia Minore or Anatolia, chief towns: Smyrna, Trebizond, Sivas, Amasia, Tokat, Angora, Scutari, Brusa, Kutaiah, and [...] 5. Kurdistan, chief town: Kerkouk. [...]

Leçons de géographie, E. Cortambert, Paris (1856:249)

Kurdistan. Note there Mossoul, the curious ruins of Ninive and Kerkouk. This is the land of the Kurds, a people almost independent.

La Turquie et ses différents peuples, vol II, H. Mathieu, Paris (1857:26)

[...] The principality of Kara-Djiolan includes all Southern Kurdistan, and the major cities of Solemanieh and Kerkouk, formerly Corcura.[...]

Geografia L. E. K. Gaultier'a, przerobiona i pomnożona przez jego uczniów, A. E. C. Gaultier, Lwów (1859:138)

W Kurdystanie Kerkuk.

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Vol IX, H. A. Pierer, Altenburg (1860:437)
Kerkuk, Liva in the Turkish Ejalet, Kurdistan.

Nueva jeografía universal, José Manuel Royo, Madrid (1861:42)[...]

5. Kurdistan, c. pl. Kerkuk;

6. Irak-Arabi, c. pls. Bagdad / Bassora;

[..]
The royal dictionary-cyclopædia, for universal reference, vol III, T. Wright, London (1862:384)

Kerkouk/Kirkook, A city of Kurdistan, the capital district, [...] It stands on an eminence which is nearly perpendicular on all sides, and is surrounded by a mud wall with towers. On the north there are a number of springs that produce an un-exhaustible supply of naphtha.

A dictionary of the Bible, Vol III, W Smith, London (1863:1062)

Sir R. K. Porter thus describes the naphtha springs at Kirkook in Lower Courdistan, mentioned by Strabo.

Deinokrates, oder, Hütte, Haus und Palast, Dorf, Stadt und Residenz der alten Welt, J. H. Krause, Vienna (1863:99-100)

Kirkuk in lower-Kurdistan is built on a large hill, whose summit is sided by walls and towers.

Dictionnaire encyclopédique de la théologie catholique, Vol XXIV, H. J. Wetzer, B Velte, I Goschler, Paris (1865:255)

6. Kerkuk, bishopric in Kurdistan

A dictionary, geographical, statistical, and historical, of the various', vol III, J. R- M'Culloch, London (1866:84)

Kerkouk (Demetrias, Strab; Corcura, Ptol.), a large town of Asiatic Turkey, in Lower Kurdistan, cap. Sandjak.


The English Cyclopaedia: Geography, Vol III, C. Knight, London (1867:434,435)

Kurdistan - The commerce with Kerkuk, which is the chief market for the produce of Kurdistan, is very active.

Bulletin, Société archéologique et historique de Nantes et de Loire-Atlantique, Vol VIII, Nantes (1868 :231)

Cor-Coura is now Ker-kouk. [...] In Bescherelle Ker-couk is a town of Asiatic Turkey in the Lower Kurdistan, the capital of the Eyalet of Keresour. [...]

Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de géographie, Vol I, M. N. Bouillet, Paris (1869:995)

Kerkouk, Corcura, v. in Asiatic Turkey (Kourdistan)....