Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Kurds and Kurdistan

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Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) — Workshop (Talk) — Proposed decision (Talk)

Case clerk: Dreamy Jazz (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: BDD (Talk) & Primefac (Talk) & Maxim (Talk)

Case opened on 15:35, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

Case closed on 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 16:11, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Watchlist all case (and talk) pages: Front, Ev., Wshp., PD.

Case information[edit]

Involved parties[edit]

Prior dispute resolution[edit]

Preliminary statements[edit]

Statement by GPinkerton[edit]

User:Paradise Chronicle, User:Levivich, and I have run into difficulty in a content dispute with editors with whom it has become clear there are conduct and POV-pushing issues; namely the other parties identified in this case. It has become clear that though Syrian Kurdistan is covered by the General Sanctions applied to the Syrian Civil War articles, the issues with it and numerous Kurdish-related pages across the Near/Middle East fall outside the direct remit of WP:SCW sanctions, which have proven unable to resolve the project-wide dispute. Numerous editors have received blocks for their contributions to this topic (including myself, including for having raised multiple ANI reports on the subject). Meanwhile the disruption has continued, as evidenced by the numerous diffs collected by interested parties at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kurds, with accompanying disruption: this edit for example.

The geopolitical "Kurdish Question" has long been salient in international politics. Kurdistan, the cultural homeland of the Kurds, spans four modern states (Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq) and the Kurds are a repressed minority long subjected to state suppression, including 20th-century military offensives, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. Problem behaviours have included:

  1. denying the existence of a (Syrian) Kurdistan.
  2. erasure or "whitewashing" historical events, including denial of ethnic cleansing in the Arab Belt.
  3. removing well-sourced mentions of matters relating to Kurds.
  4. removing mentions of Kurdish populations and names, including moving articles to non-Kurdish place names (such as those changed under the Arab Belt).
  5. using unreliable sources to contradict academic sources.
  6. quoting selectively, misquoting, and misrepresenting sources.

On the Syrian Kurdistan page (and elsewhere), editors have been seeking to deny that the Arab Nationalist Ba'ath Party perpetrated a campaign of ethnic cleansing known as the "Arab Belt" in Syrian Kurdistan, and moreover, have questioned that the existence of the place, in the face of numerous reliable sources. (In Iraq, the same party later organized the Anfal genocide.) Editors (particularly User:عمرو بن كلثوم, User:Supreme Deliciousness, and User:Thepharoah17) argue that the historically Kurdish-majority borderlands of Syria and bordering Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkish Kurdistan were not historically populated by Kurds until the post-WWI French Mandate of Syria.

This conduct is beyond the pale in light of the well-attested fact that the national socialist Ba'ath Party's Arab Belt ethnic cleansing plan in the newly renamed Syrian Arab Republic, denied Kurds' civil rights on the fictitious grounds that they were illegal 20th-century immigrants escaping persecution in the Turkish Republic; this exclusion endured until the Civil War. From the 1960s on, it has been a central myth of Syrian Arab nationalism that Kurds do not belong within Syria's modern borders and that Syrian Kurdistan is a figment of Kurdish nationalists' imagination: there is evidence of propagation of this idea on Talk:Syrian Kurdistan and on many other articles. This is akin to Holocaust denial. GPinkerton (talk) 07:34, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, in light of the contributions of others, the statements of Cullen328 and The Bushranger look faintly ridiculous demonstrably untrue. (edit: modified statement for neutrality) My block and topic ban should be overturned.
Second, to clarify to Semsûrî, MJL, Valereee, El_C, Robert McClenon, Sixula, Barkeep49, Primefac, BDD, and the Worm That Turned: it it was never my intention to limit the scope of the request to Syrian Kurdistan; the request covers the Kurds, Kurdistan, the Kurdish Question, Kurdish nationalism, Kurdish terrorism, persecutions of Kurds, and all Kurdish history. It should include Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, as well as Syria, and should also cover Kurdish minorities elsewhere, Kurdish political parties, Kurdish organizations, and the non-Kurdish minorities of the wider Kurdistan region. I linked the subpage (Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kurds) in the request above; it details many pages, beyond Syrian Kurdistan, that have been subject to problematic editing. Levivich and Paradise Chronicle have already contributed to it, and that page has itself been subject to disruption.
Issues as diverse as the Armenian genocide (there was significant Kurdish involvement), the Gulf Wars (persecutions of the Kurds by the Ba'ath Party was a factor), and the recent Nagorno-Karabakh War (pro-Turkish militants from Syrian Kurdistan were, despite Turkish denials, deployed by the Turkish-Azeri side; Armenia was accused of employing Kurdish mercenaries) should unquestionably be under the Committee's eye. The results of long-standing denial of Kurds by Turkey (as "mountain Turks") deserves no different treatment than the Anfal genocide or the Arab Belt ethnic cleansing policy; none of these is covered by the Syrian Civil War sanctions at present. Nusaybin needs to be in scope as much as Qamishli, Kirkuk as much as Afrin.
Third, thanks to L235 for notifying me. I note that some parties have exceeded their word limit. GPinkerton (talk) 15:13, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Paradise Chronicle[edit]

I was going to request a case myself but on the wider Kurdish issue. The Kurdish issue is really in need of an ArbCom Case. That the topic banned but really influential editor (leading editor) in the article Syrian Kurdistan, GPinkerton chose this way to be able to take part in the discussion, is understandable. How to describe or even if the Kurds should be described on Wikipedia is a long lasting conflict (not only content dispute, but behavioral issue and dispute) and there can be provided similar diffs as extensively presented in the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kurds for a way longer time span if needed. The issues presented for Syrian Kurdistan are clearly relevant and often also count for the Kurdish issue in general.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 14:43, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

El C, I also support a case on the wider Kurdish issue.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 23:26, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi dear ArbCom committee, as I have written before, I was working on a case on my own (together with Levivich) until GPinkerton made a move before us. Under User:Paradise Chronicle/ArbComCase you can see the preparations for it. I has some more diffs added than the one of GPinkerton and a broader case on the Kurdish issue can be made out of it. You can also merge the two cases. If you want us to further work on a case, we'll prepare a case you can accept. The Kurdish issue is really in need of a case, we (Paradise Chronicle, Levivich and GPinkerton) would be able to participate in a case constructively with sources and diffs and also have quite a good knowledge on where there are issues which need a solution. I know, the fact that GPinkerton filed the request faces some opposition, but he can really provide a lot of diffs and sources to the discussion.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 21:51, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the Holocaust or Genocide link of the Kurdish issue: It is something different, but it deserves a similar Admin/Sysop attention. Nor the Jews or the Armenians had to face a denial of their ethnicity by the country they were living in. But generations of Syrians and Turks were raised up to University levels that Kurds don't exist (or are still educated in this way) and there of course exist Wikipedia editors who where raised in such an environment. It is normal that there exist editors who deny there exist Kurds in a certain part of the world or deny the existence of a Kurdistan. One statement in this very discussion, clearly shows that there exist such editors. What we can do on Wikipedia is to educate them that they exist, and this we can do by forcing them to accept reliable often cited academic scholarship and not erase anything for OR or unsourced. But this, Admins/Sysops also must be willing to enforce, which is really seldmomly the case, which can also be observed in this very discussion here. At times Admins enforce it, and those admins get some praise by me, but it would be good that the existence of Kurds, Kurdish language and Kurdistan would become something we don't have to source like we also don't have to source it for other nations or languages. I've been discussing this Kurdish issue with admins and editors for months and sincerely I am getting tired of it. It is not my job to to clean up this mess, it is the Admins job and it is really easy to clean it up. Admins restrict editors rights for bludgeoning or a sometimes not even violated 1RR rule but not for the persistent denial of a cultural region against academic scholarship? It is clear a Kurdish ArbCom Case is due but the will by the ArbCom must be there.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 07:30, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seeing the several participants of the discussion mentioning that they prefer a broader Kurdish case (like mine). What do you suggest? Should I file this one? I don't want to cause a confusion by adding a similar second case to the first one, so I'll wait for comments.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 20:25, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Levivich[edit]

Not much to add other than that the stuff at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kurds and Talk:Syrian Kurdistan isn't a content dispute (and I really don't understand how anyone can think it is). TBANs are long overdue. A dozen ANI threads hasn't fixed this. Half a dozen editors already sanctioned. Admins divided. And it continues every day. Asking whether Syrian Kurds exist is like asking whether German Jews exist. I'm embarrassed by my colleagues who treat this question as if it were a legitimate question. Levivich harass/hound 16:21, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would appreciate it if Supreme Deliciousness would stop WP:ADMINSHOPPING for sanctions against myself and others, at least while this case request is open [1] [2] [3]. Concerns about conduct in this area (my own or others) should be centralized here. Levivich harass/hound 18:30, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is ridiculous: You and Valereee seem to be friends, so you being an arbitrator in the Syrian Kurdistan case would be a conflict of interest. You should resign from the case and give that role to someone else. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 00:25, 11 January 2021 (UTC) Levivich harass/hound 02:30, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree the proper scope of the dispute is "Kurds and Kurdistan", not just "Syrian Kurdistan". (Kurdistan includes parts of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.) User:Paradise Chronicle/ArbComCase and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kurds include examples of Kurd-related disruption outside of Syria, and even outside of Kurdistan. Levivich harass/hound 04:27, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@BDD and Barkeep49: I noticed you've accepted with a scope of "Kurds" and BDD's comment about "and Kurdistan" being redundant. In my view it's not redundant because there are articles involved in this disruption about topics that relate to "Kurdistan" but not "Kurds". For example, Yazidis (which El_C mentioned in his statement), or conflicts between (any combination of) Turks, Arabs, and ISIS, that happen in Kurdistan but don't directly involve Kurds (e.g., Turkey–ISIL conflict, which include events in Turkish Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan). There are certainly logical reasons behind setting the scope at "Kurds", "Kurdistan", or "Kurds and Kurdistan", whatever you decide, I just wanted to highlight the difference between "Kurds" and "Kurds and Kurdistan". Levivich harass/hound 22:05, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If this case is accepted, will it be with the named parties? What is the procedure for seeking to add parties? Thanks, Levivich harass/hound 20:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, BK. I will post a request to add a party in the next few hours. Levivich harass/hound 22:05, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nevermind, after reviewing diffs, I'm not going to request adding any parties. Levivich harass/hound 00:42, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by عمرو بن كلثوم[edit]

My first reaction to this case is really shock to see it come from an "editor" with so many problematic behavior issues across a wide topic of areas. There has been a case against them almost every month at the at the ANB, with the last one being this lengthy discussion about their WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior in at least eight different articles covering a wide range of topics (e.g., Holocaust in Bulgaria, Bulgaria during World War II, Hagia Sophia, Murder of Samuel Paty, etc.). This case is just another piece of evidence confirming that. Their edit-warring behavior is complemented with a very aggressive personal attack attitude. See these examples they wrote against me: here here, here. Their Talk page is full with warnings about WP:Edit warring, WP:Civility issues. Warning and cases are just too many to count, but here are some recent examples:

They were indeffed by Guerillero here on 4 Dec. but then the block was converted to a tban of Middle East post 1453, which of course that they never respected. Here are some warnings after the indef was lifted and during the tban:

I think I'll stop here for now out of respect for your time, but the list really goes on and on. As for the content dispute, this lengthy difference gives you an idea (no need to post walls of text here). Cheers, Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم (talk) 10:03, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One does not have look elsewhere to see crystal clear the politically-motivated POV-pushing mentality that is driving this case and the edits by GPinkerton and Levivich. The last paragraph in GPinkerton's statement above shows that they are here to right great wrongs. Likewise, Levivich above says Asking whether Syrian Kurds exist is like asking whether German Jews exist. See the admin comments about Levivich's claims/behavior at this page such as this comment from Joe Roe. On that same page you can also see the comments by El C regarding the Holocaust and Palestine/Israel analogy pushed by GPinkerton and Levivich.

Let me be clear here, nobody here agrees with human rights violations coming from any side (including the Syrian government), and nobody is saying Kurds do not exist in Syria. Actually, I challenge GPinkerton et al. to show evidence of their claims. However, this does not mean we can change or delete historical facts to suit our political beliefs as Levivich and GPinkerton have done at the Syrian Kurdistan page. Based on their political convictions, GPinkerton and Levivich have changed text to present "Syrian Kurdistan" and "rojava" as non-disputed terms. Of course some people call the area Syrian Kurdistan, but many more refer to it as "Kurdish-inhabited area" or Kurdish-populated area, Kurdish enclaves in Syria (ready to present quotes and references upon request). Here is an excerpt from Michael Gunter (2018), one of the Kurdish studies experts, regarding the use of these terms: The most obvious political consequence of these dynamics was the adoption by some Kurdish parties of the expression "Syrian Kurdistan" or "Rojava", referring to Northern Syria, as opposed to the moderate, "Kurdish regions of Syria".. You may want to see how Levivich removed massive amounts of text showing French mandate ethnic census numbers as well as British and French scholarship on Kurdish immigration and ethnographic maps showing the demographics of that area. To further debunk this conspiracy theory pushed by GPinkerton et al., none of the references used in that article about Kurdish population history in Syria is even Arab or Syrian, let alone Baathist. See my edit at ANB showing several quotes from western sources on the Kurdish immigration issue that Levivich et al. love to call conspiracy theory or Baathism inventions, etc., and have been removing or trying to hide any reference to that in the Syrian Kurdistan page. You may also want to see the grey literature and whitewashing and the type of sources used in the articles about Kurds in Syria (e.g. Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, Human rights in the AANES, Rojava conflict, etc.). Cheers, Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم (talk) 04:06, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

El C: thanks for the catch and sorry for the miswording (too many ideas jumping around in my head :)). Corrected that now. Cheers, Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم (talk) 04:33, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The comments we are seeing here and on other boards from the filers show exactly their POV-pushing agenda and the roots of some of the problems WP is dealing with in this topic. Paradise Chronicle says Kurdistan includes parts of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, what's next? A German Kurdistan? There are/might be Kurds living in these areas, and into Russia too, but does that warrant claiming an "Armenian Kurdistan", meaning/implying an exclusive land of the Kurds? These three editors mix between Kurdish-inhabited areas, where Kurds and significant numbers of other people live together, and Kurdistan proper. Based on that, they have decided to adopt the most extreme nationalistic narrative of Kurdistan borders and maps. This academic book shows how what's called "Turkish Kurdistan" today, in a big part was Armenian homeland or mixed Armenian, Kurdish and Arab lands. Here is another Armenian study. This academic quote from Zeynep Kaya (2012) exposes the POV-pushing narrative of the filers of this case (and the content dispute we are dealing with): Although it is well established that these maps overlook the heterogeneous character of the population inhabiting the area as well as the political boundaries of the existing states, they appear in almost all types of sources, from Kurdish websites to non-Kurdish academic works, journals and newspapers. They typically refer to the region as ‘Kurdish populated areas’ or the ‘Kurdish region’. Bold font is mine to show the difference between a generally-accepted term (still, not very neutral) Kurdish populated areas vs the wild, POV-pushing name imposed by GPinkerton, Levivich and Paradise "Syrian Kurdistan", that means/implies "exclusive land of the Kurds" AGAINST editors' consensus at that specific Talk page. Also, this comment from Levivich about calling editors racist POV-pushers was tolerated by admins. Here is a concise, all-telling quote from the "Companion to the History of the Middle East" about the Kurdish immigration from Turkey to Syria that debunks GPinkerton and Levivich claims: The majority of the Kurds in Syria are originally Turkish Kurds, who left Turkey in the 1920s in order to escape the harsh repression of the Kurds in that country. If you are looking for more details on this, I have listed several other sources (all western) giving specifics on this immigration here that Levivich had removed from the Syrian Kurdistan page. Cheers, Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم (talk) 02:20, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Attar-Aram syria[edit]

This is a content dispute. Its baffling that the editor who started this is comparing the content dispute to Holocaust denial!!!.--Attar-Aram syria (talk) 13:01, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Thepharoah17[edit]

As I have already stated, I am done and have no further interest in the Kurds issue. I still don't know a lot of features on Wikipedia such as an ArbCom or how to nominate an article for deletion. I just learned about the three revert rule a few days ago (not that I ever needed to know because I never edit warred). My main goal was to get rid of the Irish sockpuppet who repeatedly caused trouble in Northern Ireland issues and so decided to come here and cause this mess and I have achieved this goal. I will just say this for the record, though. This is maybe an idea you guys are missing. Kurdistan is a secular idea. It doesn't exist because it has no reason to exist. Most Kurds are Muslims. Why would Muslims want to separate from a Muslim nation? The ones who want an independent Kurdish state are the non-religious Kurds. The Ottoman Empire even gave Kurds their own province called the Kurdistan Eyalet. Even when Erdogan said Turks and Kurds are brothers, he meant Turks and Kurds are both Muslims. See for example: That's why there isn't really such thing as a Kurdish name. They're just either different pronunciations of the Arabic name or a translation. See for example: Erbil and Ras al-Ayn. Thepharoah17 (talk) 08:33, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Supreme Deliciousness[edit]

GPinkerton is topic banned from making Middle East edits, so she is not allowed to file this, so it should be speedily closed and GPinkerton blocked. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 07:51, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GPinkerton, You forgot to mention User:Konli17, that was edit warring, and was the main disruption at the article, why didn't you mention him?--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 09:20, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cullen328, There was large amount of edit warring before by a sockpuppet Konli17 adding fake maps into the article, but as soon as he and GPinkertion got banned the article got calm. There is still content disputes at the talkpage, but I don't believe an arb case is necessary. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 08:06, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Levivich, no one ever said Syrian Kurds doesn't exist.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 18:04, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The main problem at the Syrian Kurdistan article was a now blocked sock User:Konli17 who kept on adding fake maps and edit warring/disrupting the article. Hes the one that started everything. The other main problem was GPinkerton who arrived at the article and also disrupted and edit warred and made it impossible to edit or have a normal discussion at the talkpage because of her behavior.

Take a look at this AN discussion to see the history of GPinkerton and all the disputes she has been involved in:[4]. Any topic she touches she wreaks havoc at. Syrian Kurdistan is just another one in her long list. She will continue on to other articles after and do the same thing there. Why anyone lifted her indef block is beyond me. Unfortunately GPinkertons current topic ban is only temporary and she will come back and continue her disruption at Syrian Kurdistan. As soon as GPinkerton and Konli17 was removed from the article it became calm.

The third and last problem is Levivich who with a newly implanted source restriction rule has veto power and has removed large amounts of undisputed historical information and maps. Anyone who disagrees to this will be blocked. The solution to fixing the problem at Syrian Kurdistan is easy: Permanent block GPinkerton from the topic area (and frankly from Wikipedia altogether as she will just continue disrupting another topic area) and remove the newly implanted source restriction rule at the Syrian Kurdistan article. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 18:04, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thinking about it a bit more. The problems will not go away. The incivility will return. The ability to file enforcement requests is needed.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 22:32, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

valereee is not telling the truth here:[5] when she says: "I declared only recent scholarship was acceptable for disputed content", because user Levivich removed undisputed sourced content based on that the source was old, not because the content was disputed:[6]. And valereee accepted this:[7]. So it now "became disputed" because an editor used her new rule to "dispute" something, not because the content was disputed by another source. Basically giving unprecedented veto power to Levivich and other users to remove sourced and undisputed content out of the article. This has now led to large amounts of undisputed and well sourced historical information and historical maps being removed from the article, and no one dares to say anything against this in fear of getting blocked. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 14:34, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Preliminary statements by uninvolved editors.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Statement by Cullen328[edit]

GPinkerton fails to make the case that this is anything other than a routine content dispute. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:48, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Ymblanter[edit]

I am not in any way involved in this dispute, and I do not see what ArbCom can do here at this point. However, the area was recently put under community general sanctions (added to Wikipedia:General sanctions/Syrian Civil War and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), which have caused some amount of controversy (see the AN discussion cited above, Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Admin_introducing_source_restriction). It might help if the case get resolved by motion and standard discretionary sanctions in the area get introduced. This will not significantly change the situation, but will make more clear who may do what and which are enforcement and appeal avenues.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:23, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by El_C[edit]

I'm not sure how practical this may be, but long before the flareup at Syrian Kurdistan, I've been calling for a sanctions regime that would encompass the Kurds topic area, overall. Note, for example, the Kurdish-related disruption on the part of Emblemmor whom I've just indeffed mere minutes ago after Semsûrî brought their disruption to my attention. Not to put you on the spot, Semsûrî, but I invite you to summarize to the Committee some of the problems that you have been forced to deal with in the topic area for such a long time. El_C 17:24, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semsûrî, I just recall that we tried to get a General sanctions regime to cover the topic area, but that we didn't get enough traction to see it through, though I forget the exact reason of why the proposal failed (I believe EdJohnston also participated, perhaps he remembers). Right, in 2019, there was indeed massive disruption largely pertaining to Ezdîkî and Yazidi politics. I suppose what I'm advocating here is for the Committee to issue a blanket Kurds-related DS, which among other things would cover Syrian Kurdistan and more. This way we can have better enforcement for any future Kurdish-related disruption, disruption which could emerge on a number of different fronts. El_C 19:00, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Except for me, everyone here are mostly focused on this particular Syrian Kurdistan dispute (in the context of the SCW GS, and so on), which of course makes perfect sense. Nevertheless, I still wish to stress to the Committee that there is a unique Kurdish common thread to many other disputes which, again, tend to arise on a number of different fronts. Yes, Syrian Kurdistan is the locus here, but other Kurds-related disruption has happened before and is likely to happen again. Like on the Kurdish-Turkish front; on the Kurdish-Iraqi front; on the Kurdish-Iranian front; on the overall national aspirations of Greater Kurdistan; on the diaspora (like, for example, the million plus Kurds who reside in Germany); on the ethnic front, including various related ethnic groups; on the linguistic front, like with Kurmanji and other Kurdish dialects. In short, while I do realize that proposing a blanket Kurds-centred DS may immediately seem like a bit of an overreach, ultimately, I still think going wide is the way to go here as far as the scope of any sanctions regime the Committee might venture to entertain. El_C 21:07, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Barkeep49, here are two indeffs from yesterday: User talk:Emblemmor#Indefinite_block and User_talk:Meysam#Indefinite_block (brought to my attention here) pertaining to Kurds in Iran. El_C 04:25, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم, above you write that: On that same page you can also see the comments about the Holocaust and Palestine/Israel analogy pushed by GPinkerton and Levivich, some of them by El C. Thanks for the ping, but I don't actually understand why you use the word "push" when referring to my comments. I basically said two things in that discussion thread: 1. That I did not like for the Holocaust to be used as an analogy in this instance (Levivich then agreed). And 2. That my own sense is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has received far greater scrutiny on the project due to it being much more well known in the "general zeitgeist than the Kurds are." So, I still stand behind both positions. El_C 04:24, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم, thanks — I appreciate you correcting the wording there. El_C 04:39, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Worm That Turned, Barkeep49, I can't speak for other admins, but to me, the main advantage of a wide Kurds-centred DS, mostly revolves around having DS alerts available. It'd be a time saver, serving as a simple reference point to inform users that the topic area is fraught. Otherwise, myself at least, I don't really need to have a DS to be able to handle the disruption effectively. I mean, a lack of DS (or GS) didn't really prevent me from blocking tens and tens of disruptive users or from protecting close to 100 related pages during the peak of the disruption in 2019 and early 2020. But, I may not be around to help with the next big flareup, and sorry if this sounds arrogant, but other admins may not be as confident in taking decisive action without this extra discretion. El_C 06:44, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Semsûrî[edit]

[In response to El_C:] The massive disruption and vandalism throughout all of 2019 and perhaps into last year has dwindled down to sporadic disruption. I could make a thorough summarization but most of it wasn't actually pertaining to Kurdish topics in Syria but everything else. --Semsûrî (talk) 18:35, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Valereee[edit]

I'm a bit bemused that anyone familiar with what's been going on at Talk:Syrian Kurdistan for the last several months would consider this a routine content dispute, but really admins could use some tools there (and based on the issues there, I'm assuming at other Kurd-related topics). If arbcom can help with that, I'd urge them to take the case. —valereee (talk) 21:48, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Barkeep49, frankly if the committee would like to weigh in on what ARBPIA-equivalent discretionary sanctions and 1RR are in force on "all pages related to the Syrian Civil War and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, broadly construed" and Any uninvolved administrator is authorised to place: revert and move restrictions, interaction bans, topic bans, and blocks of up to one year in duration, or other reasonable measures that the enforcing administrator believes are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project means, I'd find it helpful.
For those who haven't been watching at the article talk and AN, after weeks of watching multiple editors arguing a particular POV ad nauseam from primary documents, old sources, and news stories when the subject is thoroughly and amply covered in recent scholarship in the academic press, I declared only recent scholarship was acceptable for disputed content because I thought it fell under 'other reasonable measures' and I believed it was both necessary and proportionate. The move has received mixed reviews. I still think it's reasonable, necessary and proportionate, but for me personally and probably admins working at other articles in the area it would be helpful to know whether the committee agree, don't agree, or doesn't want to comment. —valereee (talk) 11:41, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(ec) @Worm That Turned, yes, that's the sanction in question. There's been discussion at AN. —valereee (talk) 11:53, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with EI C that a broader topic than simply Syrian Kurdistan is needed. I've seen similar complaints about POV pushing at multiple article talks related to the Kurds. The editors in the general topic of SCW are just convinced their own understanding of the situation is the literal truth and there are enough of them and they're so willing to argue forever that it wears out more-neutral editors. —valereee (talk) 13:42, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
EI C, I don't think it sounds arrogant. I was reluctant to p-block even three editors if I could find any other solution. It just seemed like a lot of blocking when I was the only one making the decision. —valereee (talk) 19:23, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Worm That Turned, just as an FYI, an editor has asked that the recent attempt at a solution be removed because of discussion at AN, which they're interpreting as not supporting. —valereee (talk) 21:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question by MJL[edit]

The only question I have is if there is a larger Kurd-related sanction, would it include geographically related ethnic groups like the Assyrians/Arameans/Syriacs [a topic which involves a smaller but more long-standing dispute about their identity), the Turks in Northern Kurdistan (or even just Turkey per a recent ARCA (permalink), and the Syrian Turkmen (not to forget about them)? –MJLTalk 00:13, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While no one addressed me or my question directly, I am going to go with the assumption that this case will not involve related ethnic groups per this edit from Barkeep49 in response to Levivich's analysis above. I occasionally edit in the field of Assyrian matters, and I would be somewhat irritated if I had returned just to find that the Seyfo was under a new discretionary sanction regime. –MJLTalk 23:55, 16 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by The Bushranger[edit]

While it's obvious there are problems, quite possibly major ones, in this topic area, GPinkerton has a history of bludegoning and forum-shopping on the topic, with demands for immediate action in a way that at one point, I believe, had five threads open at once on AN/I and AN and quite frankly only made the situation worse and discouraged action through their sky-is-falling franticness on the issue, as well as a seeming belief that only they are capable of bringing to light this clear and present danger to the encyclopedia - to the point it got them topic-banned [8]. As Valereee observes there is a case to be made (a strong one, perhaps even) that additional tools are needed to corral this topic area, and I absolutely believe that there are issues that need to have some editors hit with a large trout; however, I'm not entirely sure this is escalated to ArbCom yet, and I also absolutely believe that GPinkerton should drop the stick on this issue. (Furthermore, I find it absolutely baffling that a topic-banned editor is allowed to weasel around that ban by jumping to ArbCom to demand action be taken on the topic they are banned from.) - The Bushranger One ping only 09:28, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Response to being called "ridiculous" by GPinkerton: This is I'm afraid par for the course when it comes to discourse from this editor. The fact that someone can have a valid point but express it in a toxic fashion is, apparently, inconceivable. I would suggest they strike the comment as both being uncivil and as being a wrong venue for demanding the removal of a topic ban. - The Bushranger One ping only 23:11, 16 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • To GPinkerton: I'll note that your regarding the main statement above as "demonstratably untrue" is quite odd since it says there is probably grounds for a case. Do you believe there isn't one? Or is your issue with the fact I (factually) described your previous actions to ensure Arbcom would be aware of them? Either way, I do appreciate the strikethrough and can live with your revised opinion. - The Bushranger One ping only 18:02, 17 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Robert McClenon (Syria and Kurdistan)[edit]

The community and the corps of administrators have taken action in this dispute, including imposing restrictions on the filing party, and by imposing Syrian Civil War general sanctions. The filing party asks the ArbCom to review those actions. I have in the past urged ArbCom to accept a case when there was some, even if not clear or convincing, evidence that ArbCom needed to act. I am in this case suggesting that ArbCom open a limited inquiry to determine whether the actions being taken by the community are effective, or whether ArbCom needs to open a full evidentiary case.

Discretionary sanctions and general sanctions are sometimes necessary to deal with areas that are subject to battleground editing because they are real battlegrounds. The Syrian Civil War has been one of the bloodiest battlegrounds in the past decade. I advise ArbCom to open a limited inquiry into whether the actions by the community are effectively dealing with the battleground editing. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:30, 7 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment in Response to GPinkerton

User:GPinkerton says that the sanctions should include other issues related to Kurdistan and the Kurdish question, including the Nagorno-Karabakh Wars. ArbCom discretionary sanctions are already in effect for Armenia and Azerbaijan, precisely because that area is a real battleground, and they are broadly construed, so that they presumably include history such as the Armenian genocide. What the ArbCom should consider is whether all of the existing sanctions are working effectively at controlling battleground editing, and whether the sanctions should be modified. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:56, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Sixula[edit]

I have been very roughly observing this for the past two months and it is clear there is a lot of tension. I've attempted to guide to a RfC and for mediation but none of the parties seemed incredibly willing and were more inclined to continue and widen the dispute. I urge ArbCom to take this case which is very clearly not just a content dispute but a wider issue. Thanks, SixulaTalk 14:26, 10 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further comment, if it's possible to merge the two cases I strongly urge the case of Paradise Chronicle should be brought into this case.Thanks, SixulaTalk 00:14, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Ivanvector[edit]

Noting here that I was pinged about the case. I strongly urge the committee to accept the case, to examine the serious and intractible behavioural issues underlying the content disputes in this topic area, which the community has spent an enormous amount of time on but has not been able to resolve. I am among a small number of editors who suggested this course of action, in my case because I feel the fact-finding and review structure of a full case is best suited to examine this dispute - the community discussions are nearly always overrun by partisan attacks and fail on editor fatigue.

I hope to be able to provide a more fulsome comment here and participate in a case, but I'm dealing with some off-wiki stuff right now so I'll have to check back later. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 22:59, 10 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Nsk92[edit]

I urge the committee to accept the case. The topic is simply crying out for the imposition of discretionary sanctions. General sanctions available in the area have proven completely ineffective because the main cause of disruption here has been not incivility and edit warring but systemic long term tendentious editing and POV pushing by multiple users. In such situations the appropriate remedy is usually a topic ban and occasionally a page block. However, admins are extremely loth to take individual action on such entrenched POV disputes, and that has definitely been the case here. Reports at WP:AN/WP:ANI quickly degenerate into complete circus (just take a good look, and I mean a really good look, at the threads linked in this filing request) because participation is not limited to uninvolved editors and admins and the discussions get quickly poisoned by the main combatants themselves. In fact, uninvolved editors often prefer to stay away from WP:PLAGUE threads of this kind. If WP:ACDS are made available, then reports can be filed at WP:AE, where the decision making process is much more orderly. First, there a request can be made specifically for the imposition of a topic ban or a similar sanction, and such a request must then be adjudicated to a definitive conclusion. Second, the decisions are made by a group of uninvolved admins, and everybody else is consigned to a shouting gallery. That guarantees at least a degree of sanity for the process. Nsk92 (talk) 00:16, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Ahmetlii[edit]

As an uninvolved party, I tried to find what is the exact problem about pages to sanction Kurdish-related topics. I think that if there will be a sanction, that should broadly comprise the whole West Asia and Eastern Europe area rather than only comprising Armenia-Azerbaijan or Kurdish-related topics, since it will be better for managing issues due to the fact that the areas I mentioned has a lot of conflicts which discussed on several ArbCom cases, dispute resolutions, and ANI cases.Ahmetlii (talk) 12:11, 14 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Narky Blert[edit]

This topic is outside my area of expertise, so I will confine myself to two general comments. (1) About 25 years ago, a colleague (in a manufacturing industry, with no direct interest) remarked: There is only one topic on which Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey all agree - the Kurds. They don't like them. (2) I posit a sociological analogy to plate tectonics. There are areas of the world where multiple ethnic groups collide. Some are quiescent, some have continuous turbulence, some break out from time to time into violent activity. Kurdistan (in its broadest sense) is one such area. Others include the Balkans, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East. Most of them, by no coincidence, are on ancient invasion routes. All of them, if they haven't already, are likely to wind up at ARBCOM sooner or later. The details will differ, but the underlying type of issue is the same. Narky Blert (talk) 18:53, 21 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Beyond My Ken[edit]

  • Like The Bushranger above, I am confused about why a topic-banned editor would be allowed to request arbitration in the area of that ban, but since a case appears to be inevitable at this point, I believe that ArbCom needs to rule on whether GPinkerton will be allowed to participate in it or not. aviing allowed them to break their TBAN to request a case, will they also be allow to continue to violate that TBAN by participating in the case? I would suggest that it should not be allowed, as it would be inimical to the entire concept of a legitimately imposed topic ban. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:40, 22 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Preliminary decision[edit]

Clerk notes[edit]

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (12/0/0)[edit]

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • Awaiting more statements. In response to one of the comments so far, GPinkerton's filing of the request for arbitration is permissible. Newyorkbrad (talk) 11:29, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No opinion yet on whether this is a case which needs an ArbCom case. However, I am prepared to say that I am not currently in favor of Ymblanter's suggestion that we put this topic under DS. Some arbs will only do DS after a full case, which has some logic but isn't my stance. If the community is going to do GS - and I think it should which is why I've closed a couple of discussions that established consensus for GS - then I think it should also build its own capacity and come to its own understanding on how to clean stuff like this up. ArbCom should be solving problems the community can't. Just because it might be more expedient for us to do something within our authority is not a reason for me to believe the community can't cleanup the inconsistencies identified in that AN thread. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:44, 6 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in this from the community at large. However, I'm pretty sympathetic to taking a case where multiple administrators are saying "I need help in administrating this topic area". El C do you have a diff or two that might illustrate the point you're making that there's an issue here beyond Syrian Kurdistan? Valereee what help would you see the committee providing that the existing GS does not? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:11, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Thanks to Valereee and El C for lending their perspective. The only case I can see myself voting to accept is one with a broader scope along the lines of what El C suggests. For ArbCom to work effectively we need editors with the time, skill, and inclination to participate in the process. Limited participation can work when the scope is limited. If we're going to go wide, and truthfully Syrian Kurdistan isn't exactly a narrow topic, then we're going to need more than limited participation. The AN thread about Valereee's GS sanction got lots of participation, granted, but that wouldn't be the focus of this case. Is there enough community desire to see us handle this to suggest a case is warranted? I think right now I'm leaning no. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:55, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Accept with a scope of Kurds and Kurdistan. The combination of the work that was being done by Paradise Chronicle to file a case before this request (giving me some reassurance about the community involvement worry I had above) and a third DS active administrator (Ivanvector) asking us to accept is enough for me to do so. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:08, 10 January 2021 (UTC) Edited to reflect scope per analysis offered by Levivich Barkeep49 (talk) 22:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • @Paradise Chronicle: a separate case request is not necessary. If that page is not finished it would be helpful, per Levivich's question, to do so. Fixing broken ping Barkeep49 (talk) 22:01, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • @Levivich: the committee decides when opening a case who is a party. Other editors may be added as the case proceeds if evidence accumulates that suggests they should be a party. If you have evidence/suggestion of other people who should (or shouldn't) be a party to this case it would be worthwhile to present that now, in my opinion. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:13, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • @GPinkerton: Thanks for clarifying your intent and lending your informed perspective about the proper scope. Many of the topics you note there are going to be best covered under "broadly construed" (so the whole Gulf War wouldn't be a part of this case just the parts involving Kurds). However, I'll also note that calling out editors who, in good faith, didn't think there should not be an arbcom case is not any form of ridiculous. You can see here that I originally started off skeptical, and it was only through further discussion and new perspectives, that I changed my mind. Other Arbitrators appear to remain unconvinced themselves and I also don't think they're ridiculous. Such rhetoric is not helpful to your cause and should be omitted during the remainder of this case. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:58, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Leaning accept. However, the fact that the community is going for GS here gives me some pause. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 05:48, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Accept With the scope of "Kurds and Kurdistan". It is apparent that the situation is intractable, and the community has exhausted all attempts to solve it. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 20:44, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This is certainly an area that I would expect Arbcom to have to step in, we've had long running disruption and multiple attempts from the community to handle it - especially when looking at the wider area. However, I'm not certain about taking this case in particular. From what I can see, the area is under Community General Sanctions and the specific page that this arbcom request is about - Syrian Kurdistan has just had a page level sanction put upon it. So I'm torn - I am leaning decline at this point since there has just been a reasonable attempt to improve situations, however I could accept a case on the wider area, understanding that these issue have been going for so long. WormTT(talk) 11:34, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept on the wider scope WormTT(talk) 09:55, 19 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm on the fence, with a slight lean towards accepting (though not entirely convinced either way). The locus of this dispute is Syrian Kurdistan, which falls under GS/SCW, if barely. Paradise Chronicle's subpage definitely has more of a better "scope" feel than this request as it encapsulates more than just one page. However, like WTT I'm mostly torn between the evidence showing "this article is a problem" vs "this subject area is a problem". Primefac (talk) 03:03, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept. Primefac (talk) 15:07, 17 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept with the scope of Kurds ("and Kurdistan" feels redundant to me, but that's just semantics). --BDD (talk) 21:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Levivich: Fair enough. I'm assuming a decision would probably have "broadly construed" language, but perhaps not. Bottom line, I want a wider scope than the one article. --BDD (talk) 18:28, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'll get to the merits soon. GPinkerton, at their request, is granted a word limit extension to a total of 1000 words. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 00:08, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. There seems like some aspects of this case we can't really address, but plenty of issues with editor behavior to examine. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:02, 14 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept, it looks an intractable dispute in a ethnic/national topic involving established editors. One of my thoughts at first was to suggest DS-by-motion like we did for Horn of Africa but this situation doesn't seem to be quite similar. Maxim(talk) 19:45, 15 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. Regards SoWhy 14:01, 17 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:03, 20 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept This is the sort of topic that has tradicaionally required ArbCom intervention to stabilize. Frankly, it's surprising it took this long to get here. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:30, 21 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

All tallies are based the votes at /Proposed decision, where comments and discussion from the voting phase is also available.


Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content online encyclopedia. This is best achieved in an atmosphere of collegiality, camaraderie, and mutual respect among contributors.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Preexisting disputes[edit]

2) Issues that are contentious in real life are likely to be so on Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia does not permit the animosity arising from disputed issues to affect the neutrality of encyclopedia articles or the standards of behavior expected from contributors. Conduct that furthers a preexisting dispute on Wikipedia should receive special attention from the community, up to and including sanctions. It is perfectly possible to present a balanced, accurate, and verifiable encyclopedia article about contentious issues or preexisting disputes.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Neutral point of view[edit]

3) All Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view, with all relevant points of view represented in reasonable proportion to their importance and relevance to the subject-matter of the article. Undue weight should not be given to aspects that are peripheral to the topic. Original research and synthesized claims are prohibited. A neutral point of view requires fair representation of all significant historical interpretations. This refers to legitimate differences in interpretation of the historical record, as opposed to views considered fringe, outdated, or significantly biased or inaccurate by the substantial consensus of reliable sources.

Passed 11 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Sourcing of articles[edit]

4) Wikipedia articles rely mainly on reliable mainstream secondary sources as these provide the requisite analysis, interpretation and context. Academic and peer-reviewed publications are the most highly valued sources and are usually the most reliable. Self-published works, whether by an individual or an organisation, may only be used in limited circumstances and with extreme care. Primary sources may be used to support specific statements of fact limited to descriptive aspects of these primary sources. In the event of sourcing disputes, talk page discussion should be used to discuss the dispute and seek a resolution. If discussion there does not resolve the dispute, the reliable sources or dispute resolution noticeboards should be used.

Passed 9 to 0 with 2 abstentions at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


5) Editors are expected to show reasonable courtesy to one another, even during contentious situations and disagreements, and not resort to personal attacks.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

National and territorial disputes[edit]

6) Several of Wikipedia's most bitter disputes have revolved around national or ethnic conflicts such as rival national claims to disputed territories or areas. Editors working on articles on these topics may frequently have strong viewpoints, often originating in their own national or other backgrounds. Such editors may be the most knowledgeable people interested in creating Wikipedia content about the area or the dispute, and are permitted and encouraged to contribute if they can do so consistent with Wikipedia's fundamental policies. However, they should bear in mind while editing that they may consciously or unconsciously be expressing their personal views rather than editing with a neutral point of view.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Personalising disputes[edit]

7) In content disputes, editors must always comment on the content and not the contributor. Personalising content disputes disrupts the consensus-building process on which Wikipedia depends.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a battleground[edit]

8) Wikipedia is not a battleground. Consequently, it is not a venue for the furtherance of grudges and personal disputes.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Tendentious editing[edit]

9) Users who disrupt the editing of articles by engaging in sustained aggressive point-of-view editing may be banned from editing these articles. In extreme cases, they may be banned from the site.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

General sanctions[edit]

10) Subject to community approval, general sanctions are imposed on certain contentious and strife-torn topics to create an acceptable and collaborative editing environment. Such sanctions often follow the model of discretionary sanctions as imposed by the Arbitration Committee, which allows administrators to impose a variety of reasonable measures on users or articles that are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Conduct during arbitration cases[edit]

11) The arbitration policy states that "Editors are expected to conduct themselves with appropriate decorum during arbitration cases, and may face sanctions if they fail to do so". The pages associated with arbitration cases are primarily intended to assist the Arbitration Committee in arriving at a fair, well-informed, and expeditious resolution of each case. While grievances must often be aired during such a case, it is expected that editors will do so without being unnecessarily rude or hostile, and will respond calmly to allegations against them. Accusations of misbehaviour must be backed with clear evidence or not made at all. Editors who conduct themselves inappropriately during a case may be sanctioned by arbitrators or clerks including by warnings, blocks, or bans from further participation in the case. Behaviour during a case may be considered as part of an editor's overall conduct in the matter at hand.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


Locus of dispute[edit]

1) This dispute centers on reliable sourcing, non-neutral point of view, and battleground behavior at articles related to Kurds and Kurdistan, especially at Syrian Kurdistan. The dispute has resulted in a strained editing environment featuring assumptions of bad faith, personal attacks, and incivility. It is further characterized by tendentious and battleground editing, with frequent accusations towards perceived opponents of pushing points of view for or against Kurds and Kurdistan. Finally, there have been extensive disputes as to the validity of sources, although the Arbitration Committee notes that assessing the suitability of individual sources is not within its jurisdiction.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Valereee's source restriction[edit]

2) Valereee imposed a source restriction at Syrian Kurdistan [9], which was within reasonable administrative discretion under a general sanctions authorization.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


3) GPinkerton has a history of disruptive editing in the Kurds and Kurdistan topic area and elsewhere. This pattern includes edit-warring (e.g. [10][11][12][13]) and personalizing disputes (e.g. [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]) for which they have been warned on several occasions by multiple administrators [22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]. GPinkerton has been blocked on multiple occasions [33]. The last block, of indefinite length, was later converted to a topic ban from the Middle East post-1453 AD [34]. GPinkerton has since violated the topic ban [35][36] and received multiple warnings from an uninvolved administrator [37][38].

Passed 11 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


4) Thepharoah17 has shown a battleground mentality with respect to Kurds and Kurdistan topic area: they attempted to sidetrack concerns about their article-writing due to an unrelated bias from the other editor,[39] and claimed they have no further interest in the topic yet returned to make similar edits shortly thereafter.[40][41] Thepharoah17 has edited tendentiously in the topic area by seeking to erase Kurdish names and mentions of Kurdistan,[42][43][44], pushing an anti-Kurd POV,[45][46][47][48] and drawing equivalencies between Kurdish groups and the Islamic State.[49]

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

عمرو بن كلثوم[edit]

5) عمرو بن كلثوم has edited tendentiously in the Kurds and Kurdistan topic area, by seeking to erase Kurdish names and mentions of Kurdistan,[50][51] and by pushing anti-Kurd POV.[52][53] On three occasions, twice in 2015 and once in 2020, عمرو بن كلثوم has been blocked for conduct in the topic area, which included edit-warring. [54][55][56][57]

Passed 11 to 0 with 1 abstentions at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Supreme Deliciousness[edit]

6) Supreme Deliciousness has engaged in tendentious editing in the Kurds and Kurdistan topic area. This pattern of editing has centered on the misuse of sources [58][59][60] as part of a broader battleground-style approach to article edits [61][62] and talk page discussion [63][64][65]. Supreme Deliciousness has been blocked on two occasions for conduct in Kurds and Kurdistan topic area [66][67][68].

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Paradise Chronicle[edit]

7) Paradise Chronicle has accused other editors of pushing extreme views without evidence.[69][70]

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

GPinkerton: decorum at arbitration case pages[edit]

8) GPinkerton's conduct during the case repeatedly fell well short of expectations. On multiple occasions, GPinkerton antagonized other parties to the case [71][72][73], and was subsequently issued warnings by arbitrators [74][75]. GPinkerton has further refused to follow the norms of the arbitration process by submitting and maintaining an evidence submission far greater than the limits on words and diffs [76][77]. As a result of these actions, an arbitration clerk removed a portion of the evidence submission which exceeded the prescribed limits on words and diffs [78].

Passed 11 to 0 with 1 abstentions at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Contentious topic designation[edit]

Superseded version

1) Standard discretionary sanctions are authorized for the topics of Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Superseded by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

1) The topics of Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed, are designated as a contentious topic.

Amended by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

GPinkerton banned[edit]

2) GPinkerton (talk · contribs) is indefinitely banned from the English Wikipedia. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 11 to 1 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

GPinkerton topic-banned[edit]

Superseded version.

3) GPinkerton (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from articles related to Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

3) GPinkerton (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

Thepharoah17 topic-banned[edit]

Superseded version.

4) Thepharoah17 (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from articles related to Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

4) Thepharoah17 (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 11 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

عمرو بن كلثوم topic-banned[edit]

Superseded version.

6) عمرو بن كلثوم (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from articles related to Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

6) عمرو بن كلثوم (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 11 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

Supreme Deliciousness topic-banned[edit]

Rescinded by motion
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Superseded version.

8) Supreme Deliciousness (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from articles related to Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

8) Supreme Deliciousness (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 16:11, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

Paradise Chronicle warned[edit]

10) Paradise Chronicle is warned to avoid casting aspersions and repeating similar uncollegial conduct in the future.

Passed 12 to 0 at 14:22, 23 February 2021 (UTC)


Motion: clarify scope of topic bans (February 2021)[edit]

The phrase "articles related to" in the topic bans for GPinkerton, Thepharoah17, عمرو بن كلثوم, and Supreme Deliciousness are struck, to clarify that the bans are not limited to article-space.

Passed 10 to 0 by motion at 02:30, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

Motion Kurds and Kurdistan (March 2021)[edit]

Supreme Deliciousness' topic ban from Kurds and Kurdistan, broadly construed is lifted subject to a probationary period lasting twelve months from the date this motion is enacted. During this period, any uninvolved administrator may re-impose the topic ban as an arbitration enforcement action, subject to appeal only to the Arbitration Committee. If the probationary period elapses without incident, the topic ban is to be considered permanently lifted.

Passed 6 to 0 with one abstention by motion at 16:11, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

Motion: contentious topic designation (December 2022)[edit]

21) Each reference to the prior discretionary sanctions procedure shall be treated as a reference to the contentious topics procedure. The arbitration clerks are directed to amend all existing remedies authorizing discretionary sanctions to instead designate contentious topics.

Passed 10 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

In accordance with the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications

This procedure applies to appeals related to, and modifications of, actions taken by administrators to enforce the Committee's remedies. It does not apply to appeals related to the remedies directly enacted by the Committee.

Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to contentious topics placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
In accordance with the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Enforcement log[edit]

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.