Kurdistan exists as a cultural and political concept on many levels of discourse. Despite Kurdistan's divisions, lack of definition and the absence of a unified struggle for a Kurdish state, the concept survives the reality as a powerful mixture of myths, reality and ambition. This thesis analyses geographical and historical factors, which have shaped Kurdish conceptions of their identity. Historically, Kurdistan existed in the heart of an ethnically and geographically complex region, a marginal buffer zone between rival regional and colonial powers. Kurdistan's location was the key to its political and cultural developments. Many resultant features were to militate against the formation of a Kurdish state.