Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Tunisia

 

Tunisia Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Language: Arabic, French

Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)

Calling code: 216

 

 

 

Tunisia, whose official name is the Tunisian Republic (in Arabic, الجمهورية التونسية (el-Jomhūriya it-Tūnisiya), in French, République tunisienne), is a sovereign country located in North Africa, more specifically on the Mediterranean coast. Its form of government is the semi-presidential republic. Its territory is organized in 24 governorates or wilayat. The capital and, in turn, the most populated city, is Tunisia. It is the smallest country in the Maghreb, located between the eastern foothills of the Atlas mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea. The surface of Tunisia is 163 610 km², with a population estimated at 10.3 million inhabitants. Approximately 40% of this country is made up of the Sahara desert, while the rest is fertile soil suitable for agriculture; It also has 1148 km of coastline, bordering Algeria to the west and Libya to the southeast.

In ancient times, Tunisia was inhabited mainly by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC. These immigrants founded Carthage. An important mercantile power and military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC. The Romans, who occupied Tunisia for most of the next eight hundred years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies such as the El Djem amphitheater. After several attempts that began in 647, the Muslims conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottoman Empire between 1534 and 1574. The Ottomans dominated the territory for more than three hundred years, until, during its decline in the nineteenth century , France established a protectorate over the country in 1881. In 1956, the country became independent as a constitutional monarchy, which was overthrown the following year. Leader of the Neo-Destour party, Habib Burguiba declared the Republic and remained as president until his overthrow in 1987, being replaced by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, of the Democratic Constitutional Grouping party. Ben Ali ruled the country despotically until January 14, 2011 resigned in the midst of what became known as the Tunisian revolution, a large-scale social revolt that culminated in the call for free legislative elections and the drafting of a new constitution, that governs the country since 2014. That same year, the first presidential and legislative elections were held under it.

 

Travel Destinations in Tunisia

 

 

El Djem

 

El Djem or El Jem is an ancient town in Eastern Tunisia. Its most prominent structure is a massive amphitheater those luxury and esthetic complexity rivals arena in Rome.

   

 

 

 

 

 

History of Tunisia

The oldest sites of primitive people in Tunisia date back more than 200,000 years ago (Kelibia region, Cape Bon).

About 6000 years BC e. at the end of the ice age, the Sahara desert formed.

About 4500 BC e. in the south of Tunisia (Gafsa District) Kapsiyans settle.

Between 1100 BC e. and 600 BC e. Phoenicians founded Sousse, Utica, and Bizerte. The main city of the Phoenicians in northern Africa becomes Carthage.

Carthage was founded in 814 BC. e. colonists from the Phoenician city of Tire. After the fall of Phoenician influence in the Western Mediterranean, Carthage reassigns the former Phoenician colonies. By the III century BC. e. it becomes the largest state in the west of the Mediterranean Sea, subjugating Southern Spain, North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica. After a series of wars against Rome, he lost his conquests and was destroyed in 146 BC. e., its territory turned into the Roman province of Africa.

Julius Caesar ordered the establishment of a colony in his place (was founded after his death). In 44 BC e. near the ruins of the Phoenician Carthage, the Romans founded a new city, naming it after Julius Caesar Colonia Iulia Carthago. It has flourished as the administrative center and port of a region with rich agricultural production. This period of the history of Carthage lasted almost 750 years.

After the division of the Roman Empire, the capital of the Kingdom of Vandals and Alans (429-533 AD) was located here.

Then Byzantium, led by Emperor Justinian, conquered this region of North Africa, after which Carthage became the capital of the Carthage Exarchate. In 697, the Byzantine Carthage fell under the onslaught of the Arabs.

Arab conquest
In 670, the Arabs (Righteous Caliphate) on the site of the Byzantine fortress founded their first city in North Africa - Kairouan, which became the center of trans-Saharan trade.

Ottoman Empire
In 1534, during the expansion of the Ottoman Empire to the rule of Suleiman I, the commander in chief of the Turkish fleet, Khair ad Din Barbarossa, captured Tunisia, but a year later Tunisia was recaptured by the German-Roman emperor Charles V of Habsburg.

In 1568, in the service of the Ottoman Empire (under Selim II), corsair Kylych Ali Pasha sent by land from Algeria a small army that captured Tunisia from the Hafsids. In 1573, Juan of Austria conquered Tunisia with Spanish help, but in 1574 the Ottomans conquered Tunis again. Tunisia became part of the Ottoman Empire.

However, from the end of the 16th century, the power of the Turkish Sultan here became nominal - it was ruled by virtually independent Beys, who founded the Muradids dynasty in 1612. In 1705, an independent state of Tunisia was created under the rule of beys from the Husseinid dynasty, who recognized the Sultan only as a religious leader. In 1881-1883, France imposed its protectorate on Tunisia, drawing it into its colonial empire.

Recent story
In 1957, the monarchy was abolished.

Since the beginning of the 1960s, the de facto one-party regime of the Neo-Dustur party was established in the country, renamed in 1964 the Social Democratic Party.

In 1987, the First Jasmine Revolution took place in the country, when the permanent president of the country, Habib Bourguiba, inclined to a constant rotation of administrators, in the face of economic difficulties and the rise of militant Islam, was ousted by Prime Minister Ben Ali with the consent of all key ministers and law enforcement agencies. The following year, limited reforms were carried out aimed at updating the most odious decisions and trends of the Bourguiba period. The country's leadership was able to make the transition from a one-party system to a formally multi-party system, avoiding the grave consequences possible along this path and without losing the reins of government. The country pursued a pro-Western policy, struggling with the growth of Islamic fundamentalism.

 

In January 2011, riots broke out in Tunisia. The main catalyst for the revolutionary situation in the country was the WikiLeaks website and its materials, which caused discontent among the population. On this resource dispatches of American diplomats were published, which showed the real situation of corruption in this republic. According to these documents, the country's president Zin al-Abidine bin Ali abused his position, the power in the country was in the hands of the elite, which turned into a mafia clan. The American publication Foreign Policy even hastened to dub the events in Tunisia as the “WikiLeaks Revolution”, although later it received the official name “Jasmine Revolution”. Despite the fact that the country's authorities limited citizens' access to the WikiLeaks website, information was leaking through other Internet resources. Protests were organized through social networks: twitter, facebook and others. In addition, young activists published many videos on YouTube (although access to this site was banned in the country back in 2007). During this coup, the authorities were actively fighting the Internet movement: they tried to block external access to internal news, cleaned mailboxes and social network accounts, hackers deleted texts and photos related to events in the country, and arrested active bloggers.

All these events caused a wide resonance in society, President Ben Ali fled the country on January 15, 2011.

The state of emergency existed in the country from January 2011 to March 2014.

Modernity
On March 18, 2015, a terrorist attack occurred in Tunisia, as a result of which more than 20 people were killed in the Bardo National Museum.
On June 26, 2015, a terrorist attack occurred in Sousse on the territory of the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel, in the recreational area of ​​Susa El Kantawi. An armed terrorist burst into the hotel territory from the beach and shot all the hotel guests he met. 38 people were killed, 39 injured.