Tunisia Fast Facts
Here's a look at what you need to know about Tunisia, a country in northern Africa. Tunisia borders Algeria and Libya.
About Tunisia: Land area - 163,610 sq km, slightly larger than the U.S. state of Georgia
Population - 10,835,873 (July 2013 est.)
Median age - 31 years
Capital - Tunis
Ethnic groups - Arab 98 percent, European 1 percent, Jewish and other 1 percent
Religion - Muslim 98 percent, Christian 1 percent, Jewish and other 1 percent
GDP - $107.1 billion (2012 est.)
GDP per capita: $9,900 (2012 est.)
Other Facts: Tunisia is predominantly Sunni Muslim.
Women in Tunisia enjoy some of the greatest rights and freedoms in the Arab world.
Timeline: 1574 - The Ottoman Empire takes control of Tunisia.
1881 - Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.
1955 - France allows Tunisia some self-governance.
March 20, 1956 - Tunisia achieves full independence from France.
1957 - Tunisia becomes a republic, and Habib Bourguiba is sworn in as president.
1959 - Tunisia ratifies its constitution, and Bourguiba is re-elected.
March 1975 - Bourguiba is named president for life.
1987 - Prime Minister Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali overthrows Bourguiba in a bloodless coup and becomes president. He wins reelection in 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009.
January 14, 2011 - After three weeks of violent protests over rising unemployment rates, poverty levels, inflation and government repression, Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali flees the country for Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi takes over in his absence. This period is called the "Jasmine Revolution," which marked the beginning of and inspiration for the Arab Spring.
January 15, 2011 - Speaker of Parliament Fouad Mebazza is sworn in as interim president. Mebazza asks Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi to form a national unity government.
January 20, 2011 - Ministers for the interim government resign from the ruling party (Constitutional Democratic Rally). Both the president and prime minister also resign from the RCD.
January 30, 2011 - Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, returns to Tunisia after 22 years of exile.
February 27, 2011 - Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns. Tunisia's interim president selects Beji Caid Essebsi as the new prime minister.
May 21, 2011 - Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, announces the finding of a commission set up to investigate human rights abuses. The committee found that approximately 300 people were killed and 700 injured in the Tunisian uprising in December and January.
June 14, 2011 - Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announces that former President Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali will be tried in absentia on charges relating to corruption and an alleged stash of guns and drugs found in the presidential palace.
June 20, 2011 - After a one-day trial, former president Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali is convicted of corruption in absentia. He is sentenced to 35 years in prison.
July 4, 2011 - After another one-day trial, former president Zine El Abedine Ben Ali is convicted of having marijuana and other illegal drugs, archaeological artifacts and weapons in the presidential palace. He is sentenced to 15.5 years in prison.
October 23, 2011 - Tunisia holds the first free elections in the country's modern history to seat the new 217-member National Constituent Assembly. Moderate Islamist party Ennahda, led by Rachid Ghannouchi, wins a majority of seats.
December 13, 2011 - Moncef Marzouki is sworn in as president of Tunisia.
May 24, 2012 - Prosecutors say they will seek a death sentence for former President Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali, now charged in absentia with ordering the killings of anti-government demonstrators.
February 6, 2013 - Opposition leader Chokri Belaid is shot and killed in front of his house as he was leaving for work. In reaction to his death, Prime Minister Hamadi Jabali announces he will dissolve parliament and form a caretaker government until elections can be held.
June 13, 2012 - Ben Ali is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protesters between December 2010 and January 2011. He has not been extradited.
February 19, 2013 - Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigns.
February 22, 2013 - Interior Minister Ali Larayedh is chosen by the ruling party, Ennahda, to be the new prime minister.
July 30, 2013 - Prime Minister Larayedh concedes to opposition groups and agrees to hold elections in December 2013.
August 6, 2013 - Tens of thousands of people protest in Tunis in hopes of dissolving the Constituent Assembly.
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