Below two prints from the 17th c. Left a French one, right a Spanish one. The French played their board games with round flat pieces, the Spaniards (until the 18th c.) with pawn shaped figures. The difference can easily be explained: people in the Greek-Roman sphere of influence play(ed) their games with flat pieces, people in the Arab sphere of influence use(d) upright figures.
Political print from a French calender (1678)
King Louis XIV (left) playing draughts against the Spanish king
Joseph Carlos Garcez "Libro nuevo. Juego de damas" (1684)
Draughts in France and Spain had all rules in common, except for one rule: France played the game with a short king, Spain with a long king. The game with the short king survived in countries like England and Italy, see for instance Parlett 1999:252. In 1999, draughts players in Bahrain organised a tournament where players from Kuwait, Quatar, the United Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain (and from Holland) took part. The participants played straight draughts with the long king, so the variety which is called by board games historians Turkish draughts, see for a description Parlett 1999:263-264. Click here for my explanation why in the Middle East draughts is played with orthogonal moves and captures. It is important to realise that the rules of Spanish draughts and Turkish draughts are identical.
It looks plausible to me that the variety with the short king is older than the variety with the long king. Apart from the king, the rules in France and Spain/the Middle East were identical; for this reason I assume that the variety with the long king sprang from the variety with the short king. The question is: where and when was the long king invented?