Al-Husayn I ibn Ali at-Turki
Al-Husayn I ibn Ali at-Turki (1669 – 13 March 1740) (Arabic: حسين بن علي التركي, Ḥusayn bin ʿAlī al-Turkī; Turkish: Hüseyin bin Ali) was the founder of the Husainid Dynasty, which ruled Tunisia until 1957.
Husayn was born a "kouloughli", which is a term used to refer to a Turkish father and an Arab mother, of Cretan origin; although it is not known for sure whether Greek or Turkish, his name Al Turki (At-Turki) suggests an ethnic Turkish origin. It should be noted however, that in Crete the term "Turk" was often used as meaning "Muslim", and applied also to Cretan Turks who were Greek converts to Islam.
In 1702 the janissary commander Ibrahim Sharif, of whom he was lieutnant, expelled the Muradid Dynasty from Tunis. Three years later, after Sharif had been captured by the Dey of Algiers, he took control of the Turkish army in Tunis and, on 12 July 1705, had himself proclaimed Bey of Tunis. He had one of his close relatives proclaimed dey by the Constantinople diwan, an act which increased his popularity amongst the Turkish janissaries, and he was also able to gain support from his Tunisian subjects; however, his entourage was mostly composed of Mamluks. Husayn's first councillor was a Frenchman from Toulon, a literate man who had helped him in gaining the power.
A pious man, he imposed a unity upon the country, divided into numerous different ethnicities, under the aegis of Islam and its traditions. He built numerous edifices dedicated to religion and religious studies (madrasas), such as the Madrasahs of the Dyers (1727) and al-Husseyniah in Tunis, as well as the mosque of Le Bardo and other madrasas in the country's mainland (Kairouan, Sfax, Sousse and Nafta).
Husayn tried to establish a succession to the title of bey for his sons Muhammad and Ali (born in 1710 and 1712, respectively). His nephew Ali Pasha, who had been plotting against him and had been therefore put under surveillance by Husayn, was able to escape and revolted, with the help of local tribes and of the Dey of Algiers. The latter invaded Tunisia and defeated Husayn the battle of Smindja (4 September 1735), the latter forced to flee to Sousse, while his troops in Tunis capitulated. Husayn was captured and beheaded on 13 September 1740.
Ibrahim Sharif (bey of Tunis)
|Bey of Tunis
'Abu'l Hasan 'Ali I