Apply for a dot-ku

ISSUE 1, VOL. 1, YEAR 1, JAN. 2005, Pages 40-41

It is time for the Kurdistan Regional Governments (KRG)
to apply for a dot-ku (www.domain.ku) domain

Dilan Roshani
University of Nottingham,
School of Civil Engineering,
Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Dear Editor; the advent of the World Wide Web has allowed the global population to access even the remotest sections of the planet. The provision and control over the internet service in most parts of the world are increasingly managed locally by local authorities. This is considered an essential requirement in any fast progressing society. Most member states of the United Nations possess their own Internet-top-level-domain and Domain Name System (DNS). So do an increasing number of autonomous territories (e.g Gibraltar), federal states within European Union (Netherlands Antilles) or isolated islands, including those that are barely inhabited such as Antarctica and Pitcairn (population 48 people). Very recently, Palestine was granted its own DNS [1]. It goes without saying that Kurdistan does fulfil all the criteria of an autonomous country and it should apply for its own DNS as soon as feasible. The application process is not complicated and there are clear guidelines.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit corporation that was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government contract by IANA and other entities.

The term “generic” top-level domains (such as .com and .org) were intended for general use by the Internet public, whereas “country” code top-level domains (suh as .uk) were created to be used by each individual country as they deemed necessary. Country-code top-level domains in the Internet domain-name system are designated by two-letter codes ("alpha-2 codes") shown on the ISO 3166-1 [2] list maintained by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA). This list consists of codes given in the UN Bulletin "Country Names" and in the code list of the "Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use." There is also a provision for assignment of codes by the Maintenance Agency, in certain limited circumstances, in response to a request by the affected national government or national standards body. The ISO 3166-1 list is used worldwide in many applications involving coded information concerning names of countries and of physically separated dependent territories. Kurdistan has no Standard Country or Area Codes! Although the top-domain codes allocate to the country codes listed at the ISO 3166-1, there is a re-register list (such as ISO 3166/MA for new applications) [3] which has to make sure that ISO 3166-1 does not express personal opinions concerning the legal status of a country or dependency. When the ISO 3166/MA receives a request for the inclusion of a country name or a dependent area in ISO 3166-1, it examines the justification given for the request, applying the three criteria below. All three criteria need to be fulfilled if the request is to be considered by the ISO 3166/MA.

The area name for which the inclusion in ISO 3166-1 is requested represents an area which is physically separated from its parent country. Dependent areas directly bordering on the parent country cannot be included in ISO 3166-1.

An interchange requirement exists between the area for which a code element is requested and other physical locations. For the purposes of ISO 3166-1 the term "interchange requirement" includes a stated and proven necessity to move physical objects (e.g. goods) or non-physical objects (e.g. electronic messages) from one physical location to another. The application by Scotland is one of these region which shares many characteristics element with Kurdistan Regions [4].

A request for the inclusion of a country name (or the name of a dependent area) in ISO 3166-1 must originate from the national government of the country or from the national standards body of that country. The ISO 3166/MA rejects any request which is not accompanied by a written statement from the national government explicitly agreeing to and supporting the request.

According to the above-mentioned regulation, the application for a top-level domain (e.g. dot-ku. .ku) has to be made by the regional authority, therefore, it should be among the priorities of the KRG and the Parliament in Hawlér [5]. A core group of Information Technology (IT) professionals will be required, alongside manufacturers, Internet service providers (ISP) and Security Network Provider (SNP). The Kurdish Computer Society (KUCS) can provide assistance and expertise in the area and prepare work for a standard distribution of the future “.ku” domain. The, .gov.ku, .edu.ku, .org.ku .net.ku, .ac.ku, .mil.ku, .tv.ku, .web.ku, etc., can be the DNS ID for many Kurdish institutes and private company around the world.

Today, as a result of fast-growing electronic communication, archiving systems and advanced IT, all Computer software are developed with bases for existing pre-defined International Scripting codes. The Kurds have no standard scripting, country or area codes and the commonly used (Arabic based) Kurdish script is not represented in any instructional language codes, i.e. it remains un-coded [6]. Therefore, an indirect consumer market for the Kurdish script has developed which relies on modified Arabic, Turkish, and/or Persian software to write and archive in Kurdish. As a result, neither the Kurds nor their language Kurdish are represented in any global computer and electronic base standards.

In conclusion, the sooner the KRG obtains its own DNS, the greater the impact will be on our nation-building, language and heritage protection.

Mr. Dilan Roshani ( is a PhD researcher in Civil Engineering computing and communication at the University of Nottingham, UK, and the Managing Director of the KURDISTANICA (, the Encyclopaedia of Kurdistan.

  1. Palestine Wins Internet Home, report by, March 23, 2000
  2. English country names and code elements, (, [updated link]
  3. The Internet and ISO 3166-1, (
  4. Creating a top level domain for Scotland, (
  5. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
  6. IT the Dilemma of Kurdish Language, Dilan Roshani,, 10/01/2002