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.
History of Tunisia
The oldest sites of primitive people in Tunisia date back more
than 200,000 years ago (Kelibia region, Cape Bon).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
The state of emergency existed in the country from
January 2011 to March 2014.
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,