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Kirkuk (kĭrkōkˈ) [key], city (1987 pop. 418,624), NE Iraq. It is a center of Iraq's oil industry and is connected by pipelines to ports on the Mediterranean Sea. Kirkuk is a market for the region's produce, including cereals, olives, fruits, and cotton. There is a small textile industry. Kirkuk is built on a mound containing the remains of a settlement dating back to 3000 B.C. Kirkuk's population is mix of Turkomans, Kurds, and Arabs as well as many minorities; forced resettlement of many Kurds in the late 20th cent. reduced their numbers in the city and prompted a Kurdish migration back into the city and the surrounding province after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Iraq Political Geography

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