The Kurds in Armenia (Armenian: , romanized: K'rdery Hayastanum; Kurdish: Kurdên Ermenistanê), also referred to as the Kurds of Rewan[a] (Kurdish: Kurdên Rewanê), form a major part of the historically significant Kurdish population in the post-Soviet space, and live mainly in the western parts of Armenia. The Kurds of the former USSR first began writing Kurdish in the Armenian alphabet during the NEP era in the 1920s, followed by Latin in 1927, then Cyrillic in 1945, and now in both Cyrillic and Latin.
In line with the policy of korenizatsiya, the Soviet government provided the Kurds of Armenia with access to media such as radio, education and press in their native tongue. The Soviet Armenian authorities established the Kurdish newspaper Riya Teze (The New Path), as well as a Kurdish radio broadcast from Yerevan. The first Kurdish film, Zare, was produced by Armenkino in 1926, and the first Kurdish novel, The Kurdish Shepherd (?ivanê Kurmanca) by Arab Shamilov, was published in Yerevan in 1935. There is a Kurdish Department in the Yerevan State Institute of Oriental Studies.
The historically suspicious treatment from Armenia toward local Kurds, especially Muslim Kurds, is best explained as a reaction to the fact that Kurdish tribes in Western Armenia participated along with the Turks of the Ottoman Empire during the deportation and genocide of the Armenian populations during the World War I.
In the First Republic of Armenia of 1918-1920, the Kurds received political rights: a Kurdish representative elected to the Armenian parliament, some Kurds became officers of the Armenian Army and organized Kurdish volunteer units.
During the Soviet period a large amount of Kurdish literature was published in Armenia, national schools and radio were opened. According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Soviet Armenia was the main center of Kurdish literature. In 1925 more than fifty schools were opened for the Kurds of Armenia.
The first Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan spilled across the region of Nagorno-Karabakh into the traditionally Kurdish populated areas in both of these countries. In the late 1980s 18,000 Kurds left from Armenia to Azerbaijan.
According to the director of the Center of Kurdish research, the situation with Kurds in Armenia today is normal and there is not any open intolerance. The Election Code of Armenia reserves one seat in the parliament to the representative of the Kurdish minority.
Currently, the Kurds and Yazidis (Both are recognized as separate ethnicities in Armenia) are represented in 4 general assemblies of Armenia: the Kurdish Intellectuals Council, the Kurdistan Committee, the Armenian-Kurdish Friendship Council and the National Union of Yazidis. There is a Kurdish department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences and at David Anakhta University. In addition, there is a section of Kurdish writers in the Writers' Union of Armenia.
Armenian poet Hovhannes Shiraz used the motives of Kurdish legend in his famous poem "Siamanto and Khjezare".