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 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.



The toponym "Tunisia" comes from the name of the largest city and the capital of the country. The city of Tunis (Arab. تونس‎) - a suburb of Carthage - was known for several centuries BC. There is no consensus on the origin of the oikonym "Tunisia". According to E. M. Pospelov, the name comes from the name of the Phoenician deity Tanit, the queen of the moon.


Geographical position

The lowest point in Tunisia is El Garsa (17 m below sea level), and the highest is Chambi (1544 m). It is the smallest country in the Maghreb in terms of area.

The climate of Tunisia is subtropical Mediterranean in the north and along the coast, in the south and inland - tropical desert. Average temperatures in January are +10 °C in the north and +21 °C in the south, in July +26 °C in the north and +33 °C in the south. Precipitation for the year falls from 100 mm in the south to 1500 mm in mountainous areas, some desert areas do not receive precipitation at all for many years in a row. The summer heat on the coast is softened by the sea breeze, so subjectively it seems a little cooler than it really is. In desert areas, frosts are not uncommon at night even in spring and autumn, although during the day the temperature during this period can reach +25 ... +27 ° C. The best time to visit the country is September-November and March-June.


History of Tunisia

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

Around 6000 BC At the end of the Ice Age, the Sahara desert formed.

Around 4500 BC in the south of Tunisia (Gafsa District) the Capsians settle.

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

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

Julius Caesar ordered to establish a colony in his place (it was founded after his death). In 44 BC not far from the ruins of the Phoenician Carthage, the Romans founded a new city, naming it in honor of Julius Caesar Colonia Iulia Carthago. It flourished as the administrative center and port of an area with rich agricultural production. This period in the history of Carthage lasted almost 750 years.

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

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

Arab conquest
In 670, the Arabs (Righteous Caliphate), on the site of a 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 during the reign 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, the corsair Kilich Ali Pasha, who was in the service of the Ottoman Empire (under Selim II), sent a small army overland from Algeria, which captured Tunisia from the Hafsids. In 1573, Juan of Austria, with Spanish help, retook Tunisia, but in 1574 the Ottomans reconquered Tunisia. Tunisia became part of the Ottoman Empire.

However, already from the end of the 16th century, the power of the Turkish sultan here became nominal - virtually independent beys ruled, who founded the Muradid dynasty in 1612. In 1705, the independent state of Tunisia was created under the rule of the beys from the Husseinid dynasty, who recognized the sultan only as a religious leader. In 1881-1883, France established its protectorate over Tunisia, incorporating it into its colonial empire.

The most famous beys:
Hussein ben Ali (since 1705)
Ali Bey (1759-1782)
Hamuda Pasha (1782-1814)
Ahmed (1837-1855)
Mohammed es-Sadok (1881)
Moncef (1942-1943)
Muhammad VIII al-Amin (1943-1957)

Recent history
In 1957 the monarchy was abolished.

Since the early 1960s, a de facto one-party regime of the Neo-Dustour party, renamed the Social Democratic Party in 1964, has been established in the country.

In 1987, the First Jasmine Revolution took place in the country, when the president of the country, Habib Bourguiba, who had ruled for 30 years, was overthrown. He was prone to constant rotation of administrators and, in the face of economic problems and the rise of militant Islam, was removed by Prime Minister Ben Ali with the consent of all key ministers and law enforcement agencies. The following year saw limited reforms aimed at correcting the most odious decisions and tendencies of the Bourguiba period. The country's leadership managed to carry out the transition from a one-party system to a formally multi-party system, avoiding the possible grave consequences along this path and without losing the reins of government. The country pursued a pro-Western policy, fighting the rise 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, President Zine al-Abidina bin Ali abused his position, power in the country was in the hands of the elite, which turned into a mafia clan. The American edition of Foreign Policy even hastened to dub the events in Tunisia the "WikiLeaks revolution", although later it was officially called the "jasmine revolution". Despite the fact that the country's authorities restricted citizens' access to the WikiLeaks website, information leaked through other Internet resources. Protest actions were organized through social networks: twitter, facebook and others. In addition, young activists posted many videos on YouTube (although access to this site was banned in the country as early as 2007). During this coup, the authorities actively fought against the Internet movement: they tried to block outside access to domestic news, cleaned mailboxes and social network accounts, deleted texts and photos related to events in the country with the help of hackers, 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 was in force in the country from January 2011 to March 2014.

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


State structure

In 2014, the Republic of Tunisia completed the transition to a new constitutional and political system that began to take shape after the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. In January 2014, the National Constituent Assembly, formed in October 2011 following the first free elections, approved the country's new constitution. The Basic Law guarantees civil rights, freedom of religion and equality of men and women before the law. The new constitution of Tunisia was called one of the most progressive in the Arab world.

In June 2014, the National Constituent Assembly decided to hold elections on October 26 for a new parliament, the Assembly of People's Representatives, and on November 23, elections for the President of the Republic.

The president
Since October 23, 2019, Qais Said has been the President. In the presidential elections, he was nominated as an independent candidate, was elected in the second round for a period of 5 years.

Political history
From the moment of obtaining independence from France in 1956 until 1987, Habib Bourguiba was the permanent leader of the country. In 1957, the monarchy was abolished in the country.

In 1987, the aged President Habib Bourguiba, the founder of the Tunisian state, according to the current constitution - president for life, appointed General Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had already combined the posts of Minister of War and Minister of the Interior, to the post of Prime Minister.

Just six weeks later, as a result of a bloodless, "palace" coup, dubbed the "Jasmine Revolution" - through a medical examination, the aged Habib Bourguiba was declared incapable of acting as president. The next two years, from 1987 to 1989, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali ruled the country from the premier's chair, being and. about. president, and in 1989 was elected president. The ousted Habib Bourguiba lived until 2000 and is buried in his native city of Monastir, in the mausoleum that now bears his name.

In 2002, the Tunisian Constitution was amended: under the pretext of combating terrorism, a referendum was held to amend the constitution, abolishing the limitation on the number of presidential terms (2 times in a row) and the age limit (70 years) for a presidential candidate.

On January 14, 2011, as a result of public protests, 74-year-old Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country to Saudi Arabia, transferring the powers of the President to the Speaker of Parliament. Before that, he managed to introduce a state of emergency in the country, dissolve the government and announce early early parliamentary elections. The airspace of Tunisia was closed during the day, the next day, almost all foreign tourists were taken out of the country as a matter of urgency.

The constitution adopted under the first president (1959) introduced a multi-party system, secular courts and civil norms for family relations (abolished polygamy), women were granted voting rights. Legally, these rules are still in force today. For the proven fact of having a second wife, criminal punishment is provided. According to the Constitution, the president is elected for a term of 5 years. The prime minister and cabinet of ministers are appointed by the president. In 2011, however, the President and Prime Minister were elected by the Constituent Assembly.

In 2021, Tunisia became the first state in the Arab world to have a female prime minister, Najla Boudin Romdan.

The heads of regions and local governments are appointed by the government. Local councils at the municipal and district levels are formed on an elective basis.

The Assembly of People's Representatives is a unicameral parliament with 217 seats. Deputies are elected for 5 years. The Parliament is located in the Bardo Palace (the Bardo Museum is located in the next building), which is located in the city of Bardo near the capital.

On October 23, 2011, elections were held for the provisional Constituent Assembly. The moderate Islamist Renaissance Party won 89 seats out of 217, the Congress for the Republic - 29, the People's Petition for Freedom, Justice and Development (Al-Arida) - 26.

On October 26, 2014, the first elections to the Assembly of People's Representatives were held after the fall of the regime of President Ben Ali and the adoption of a new constitution. The citizens of the country elected 217 deputies. The main secular party, Nidaa Tunisia, won the majority of seats (83), while An-Nahda, the largest Islamist party, won 68 seats.

In the elections held on October 6, 2019, the current composition was elected. Most of the seats were received by: 52 - Revival Party ("An-Nahda"); 38 - "Heart of Tunisia"; 22 - "Democratic Movement"; 21 - "Coalition of Dignity". On November 13, 2019, Rashid Al-Ghannoushi (“An-Nahda”) was elected Chairman.



The Democratic Constitutional Association Party (DKO, until 1988 - the Socialist Dusturov Party, and even earlier - the New Dustur) was the only legal party during the 25 years of Tunisia's existence as an independent state. In 2011, following a wave of protests, the party was banned. The largest parties in the provisional Constituent Assembly are the moderate Islamist Renaissance Party, the secular Congress for a Republic, and the People's Petition for Freedom, Justice and Development (Al-Arida).


Administrative division

Tunisia is made up of 24 wilayets headed by wali, divided in turn into 264 muatamadiyats or districts headed by muatamads. Muatamadiyats are divided into 2073 sheikhats or districts headed by sheikhs. The wali, the heads of the vilayets, are appointed by the president of the republic. The Muatamads, the heads of the Muatamadiyats, are appointed by the Minister of the Interior.



Tunisia is an agro-industrial country. The basis of the economy is agriculture. The second place in the national income is occupied by tourism, the third - light industry, mainly textile.

According to polls, almost 50% of the population consider themselves to be middle class. The minimum wage set by the state is 270 dinars (just under $130) per month.

Tunisia is the fourth largest exporter of olives and olive oil in the world. There are over 50 million olive trees in the country. Tunisia provides up to 10% of the world's olive oil production.

But Tunisia does not produce enough other agricultural products and is forced to import food.

Energy and mining
Large deposits of phosphorites are being developed by state-owned companies.

Oil production is 5 million tons, which provides for the country's domestic needs and provides up to 40% of export earnings.

Tunisia's oil industry is less developed than its neighbor, Algeria. Proven oil reserves in Tunisia in 2006 are 308 million barrels. According to the BP Statistical Energy Survey, Tunisia produced an average of 97,600 barrels of crude oil per day in 2007, which was 0.11% of the world's total and this figure has changed by 40.1% compared to 2006.

For a long time, oil was the main source of Tunisia's export earnings (in 1999, about 250 thousand tons of crude oil were produced in the country). Since the late 1980s this role has shifted to textiles and food.

The Ministry of Industry regulates the oil industry in Tunisia. The state oil company is L'Enterprise Tunisienne d'Activites Petrolieres (ETAP) and the Société Nationale de Distribution du Pètrole (SNDP) is the national marketing distribution company.

In Tunisia, British Gas is the largest foreign investor. It owns 100% of the shares in gas production at the Miskar field, which provides 80% of the country's daily demand for this energy carrier. In addition to the Miskar field, ‘BG’ holds a 50% interest and exploration permit in the offshore Amilcar and Ulysee fields, where the state-owned company ‘ETAP’ also operates. The Hannibal-3 appraisal well, drilled in the Amilcar field in 1997, discovered gas, but has not yet been approved for production. The Miskar field provides more than 90% of all gas production (335 million m3 in 1999).

International trade
In 2019, the volume of exports amounted to 16.6 billion dollars, and imports - 21.6 billion dollars. Exports are dominated by: light industry products, oil and oil products, engineering products and olive oil; imports include crude oil, machinery and components, chemicals and foodstuffs. The main export destinations are France ($4.82 billion), Italy ($2.74 billion), Germany ($2.1 billion), Spain ($686 million) and Libya ($539 million); imports from France ($3.69 billion), Italy ($3.37 billion), Germany ($1.66 billion), China ($1.65 billion) and Algeria ($1.43 billion).



The country has eight international airports, the total number of airports is 29 (as of 2013). The largest airports in the country: Enfida, Tunis-Carthage, Habib Bourguiba Monastir and others.

The length of the country's railway network, operated by SNCFT (Fr. Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens), is over 1900 km, of which 473 km with a gauge of 1435 mm and 1674 km with a gauge of 1000 mm.

International cargo transportation is carried out by sea. The main ports of the country: Halk el Oued, Sfax, Bizerte, Sehira, Sousse.



The population is 10,982,489 inhabitants according to the 2014 census. In recent years, the birth rate has been falling sharply in Tunisia. In 2010, the total fertility rate is estimated at 1.71 children per woman. This is the lowest figure among the Arab countries.

National composition and languages
98% of the country's population are Arabs. However, there is a small (1%) national minority of Berbers, they mainly live on the island of Djerba and in the areas of Matmata, Tatavin, Gafsa. The Berbers of Tunisia, represented by the Nefusa tribe, speak one of the dialects of the Berber language, often called Shelha. Circassians also live in the country (about 1.5%). Basically, these are the descendants of the Egyptian Mamluks and Muhajirs - immigrants from the Caucasus after the Caucasian War.



98% of the population are Muslims, a small number of Catholics. Also in Tunisia, on the island of Djerba, there is a Jewish community.



Alcoholic drinks
Traditionally, Muslims do not drink alcohol, but in Tunisia, the attitude towards this issue is more liberal. The country produces dry red, rosé and white wines. The town of Grombalia hosts a wine festival every September. In Tunisia, there is only one national beer brand - "Celtia". Among the national popular spirits of Tunisia are gray wine "Gris", red wine "Magon", date liqueur "Thibarine", as well as fig vodka "Boukha".


Holidays and dates

January 14 - Revolution Day
March 20 - Independence Day
March 21 - Youth Day
April 9 - Memorial Day of the Martyrs
May 1 - Labor Day
July 25 - Republic Day
August 13 - Women's Day


Mass media

The state television company - ETT (Établissement de la télévision tunisienne - "Tunisian Television Institution"), includes the TV channels Télévision Tunisienne 1 (launched on May 31, 1966 as RTT, since 1983 RTT 1, modern name - Télévision Tunisienne 1) and Télévision Tunisienne 2 (launched on November 7, 1994), the state radio company - ERT (Établissement de la radio tunisienne - “Tunisian Radio Establishment”), includes radio stations Radio Tunis (launched on October 15, 1938), Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale (launched in 1960 ), Radio Jeunes (launched 7 November 1995), Radio Tunisie Culture (launched 29 May 2006) and a number of regional radio stations (Radio Sfax (launched 8 December 1961), Radio Monastir (launched 3 August 1977), Radio Gafsa ( launched November 7, 1991), Radio Le Kef (launched November 7, 1991), Radio Tataouine (launched November 7, 1991)). ETT and ERT were created on August 31, 2007 by splitting the state television and radio company ERTT (Établissement de la radiodiffusion-télévision tunisienne - “Tunisian Broadcasting and Television Institution”), created on October 15, 1938 as Radio Tunis, from April 25, 1957 - RTT (Radiodiffusion- télévision tunisienne - "Tunisian broadcasting and television"), since May 7, 1990, it has had its modern name. Terrestrial television operator - ONT The Supreme Independent Directorate of Audiovisual Communication (Haute autorité indépendante de la communication audiovisuelle, الهيئة العليا المستقلة للاتصال السمعي البصري) is responsible for overseeing compliance with media laws.


Armed forces

Unlike its neighbors, Algeria and Libya, Tunisia has insignificant oil reserves and, as a result, its financial possibilities are limited. Military spending in the 90s. amounted to 350-400 million dollars a year. In service there are weapons and military equipment mainly of Western production, and rather outdated. Number - 35,000 people (including ~ 23,400 military service; duration of military service - 1 year; selective conscription).



International sporting events
Since 1994, the local sports club Golf Yasmine has been organizing competitions at various levels. So, in 1994, the Challenge Tour was held in Tunisia, and in 2000-2001 - the World Shot Gun and the Mediterranean Games.

In 1994 and 2004, Tunisia hosted the final tournaments of the African Cup of Nations in football.

In 2005 Tunisia hosted the World Handball Championship.

Since 2006, the Tunisian Golf Championship has been regularly held.

In 2009, Tunisia hosted one of the stages of the World Rally Raid Cup - the OiLibya de Tunisie rally raid. It was marked by a serious accident, which on May 1 involved the crew of a Russian racer, BMW X-Raid team pilot Leonid Novitsky. 11 km after the start, the athlete at a speed of 200 km / h crashed into a series of sandy lanes. Leonid Novitsky and his navigator Oleg Tyupenkin, having received serious injuries, were taken by helicopter to the hospital. The race was stopped and the special stage was cancelled.