Tunisia – Not just an attractive holiday destination
Long Mediterranean beaches, charming little coastal villages and the Sahara desert in the south of the country also make Tunisia an attractive holiday destination. Tunisia is also closer to the Europeans than many other African countries, and not just because of its geographical location in North Africa on the Mediterranean. In 1995, Tunisia signed a cooperation agreement with the European Union (EU). Together with Morocco, Algeria and partly also Libya and Mauritania, Tunisia belongs to the so-called Maghreb states.
The political situation was relatively stable until the beginning of 2019. However, human rights organizations accused the government of restricting freedom of expression and of the press and violating human rights. The government justified these conditions with the need to fight Islamist groups. The terror network Al Quaeda claimed responsibility for the attack on a synagogue on the island of Djerba in April 2002, in which 21 people died.
In the first week of January 2011, however, the long suppressed popular anger exploded and bloody uprisings broke out, originally from unemployed and hopeless young democrats, but which subsequently affected large parts of the population.
As a result of the demonstrations, President Ben Ali resigned on January 14, 2011 and fled to Saudi Arabia. The previous Prime Minister initially took power and declared a state of emergency. But after about 24 hours he was replaced by the President of the Lower House of Mbazaas Parliament.
Nobel Peace Prize
The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize went to the Tunisian “Quartet for National Dialogue”.
The quartet consists of the Tunisian Trade Union Federation (UGTT), the Tunisian Employers Association (UTICA), the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) and the Bar Association.
|Name of the country||Republic of Tunisia|
|Form of government||Presidential Republic|
|Geographical location||North africa|
|National anthem||Humata l-hima|
|Population||around 11.7 million (Credit: Countryaah: Tunisia Population)|
|Ethnicities||Arabs and Arab Berbers|
|Religions||99% Muslims (state religion)only approx. 0.2% Christians|
|Languages||Arabic is the official language|
|Highest mountain||Jabal al Shanabi with a height of 1,544 m|
|Longest river||Medjerda with a length of 361 km|
|Largest lake||Chott el Jerid with an area of about 4,900 km²|
|International license plate||TN|
|Currency||1 Tunisian dinar = 1,000 millimes|
|Difference to CET||0 h|
|International phone code||00216|
|Mains voltage, frequency||220 volts and 50 hertz|
|URL-TLD (Top Level Domain)||.tn|
Tunisia until around the year 1000
From the 11th century BC The Punic culture developed in what is now Tunisia. Around 800 BC Phoenician settlers founded the city of Carthage.
According to Abbreviationfinder website, the seafaring nation ruled the entire western Mediterranean and founded numerous colonies.
The manufacture of iron and tin, as well as the trade in purple, fabrics and spices brought further wealth.
With the expansion of Rome there was a conflict between the two powers. Due to the Punic Wars in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC Carthage lost its supremacy and was re-established in 146 BC. Destroyed by the Romans. As “Provincia Africa” it was one of the richest colonies in Rome. From 439 to 533 AD, Tunisia was ruled by the Vandals.
From 533 it belonged to the Byzantine Empire. From 670 the country was conquered by the Arabs, who completely Islamized it. The influx of Muslim and Jewish refugees from Spain, which continued until the 15th century, encouraged the development of arts and sciences in the Maghreb.
Tunisia from the 13th to the 17th centuries
Under the rule of the Hafsids, which began in 1226, Tunisia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1574.
Hussain ben Ali, a Turkish officer, founded the Bey dynasty of the Hussainids in 1705, who ruled the country as a largely autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire until the mid-19th century.
In 1871 Tunisia’s independence from the Ottoman Empire was recognized. In 1881 France forced the Bey to place Tunisia under French patronage in the Bardo Treaty.
20th century until today
During the fighting in North Africa in World War II (1942/43), the Bey Mohammed el-Munsaf sympathized with the Germans and Italians. In May 1943 he was replaced by Mohammed el-Amin.
After bloody unrest in 1953, Tunisia gained independence on March 20, 1956. The new Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba (1903-2000) deposed the Bey in 1957 and took over the office of President in 1975. France had to give up the Bizerte base in 1963.
In 1987 Bourguiba was deposed due to illness and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (born 1936) took over the presidency. Although opposition parties were allowed, the ruling party won all parliamentary seats in the 1989 elections, and the 1994 and 1999 presidential elections confirmed Ben Ali in office.
In 1995 Tunisia became the first Mediterranean third country to sign a cooperation agreement with the European Union. In 2002 a constitutional referendum was passed for the re-election of the president for further terms and in 2004 Ben Ali was re-elected.
In the first week of January 2011 there were bloody riots, which originally started out from unemployed and hopeless young democrats, but subsequently affected large parts of the population. As a result of the demonstrations, President Ben Ali resigned on January 14, 2011 and fled to Saudi Arabia. The previous Prime Minister initially took power and declared a state of emergency. But after about 24 hours he was replaced by the President of the Lower House of Mbazaas Parliament. On January 17, a transitional government under Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouch began its work. There are also three members of the previous opposition in the government.
Nobel Peace Prize
The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize went to the Tunisian “Quartet for National Dialogue”. The quartet consists of the Tunisian Trade Union Federation (UGTT), the Tunisian Employers’ Association (UTICA), the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) and the Bar Association.
After the so-called Jasmine Revolution in early 2011, four organizations had come together to form a platform to promote the democratization of the North African country.
According to a statement of the committee, the prize was awarded for the efforts to pluralistic democracy in the North African country in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Because at that time had there was a risk that the democratization process could collapse due to political assassinations and social unrest.
The award should also be an incentive for all those who want to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world.