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Kirkuk is just one question mark for the KurdsFrom the roof of his office, Gov. Najmaldin Karim can see multiethnic Kirkuk laid out below. Kirkuk sits uneasily on the fault line between Kurdistan to the east, the Shiite-led Baghdad government to the south, and Sunni regions to the west. Karim is a Kurd himself, and a member of one of its big political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The Kurds regard Kirkuk as part of their ancestral homeland, and the Iraqi constitution calls for a referendum in which the city's Kurdish majority could vote to leave the orbit of Baghdad and become part of Kurdistan.Karim reckons that Kurds make up a little over 50 percent of the Kirkuk population, while Sunnis account for 32 percent to 35 percent and Turkmen 13 percent to 14 percent.Karim says he favors a special status for Kirkuk within Kurdistan, like what Quebec has in Canada.
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