Al-Husayn I ibn Ali at-Turki

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Husayn I Bey.

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.

Biography[edit]

Husayn was born a "kouloughli", which is a term used to refer to a Turkish father and an Arab mother.[1]

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 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).

In 1726 he ordered the construction of El Jedid Mosque in Tunis.[2]

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 at the battle of Smindja on 4 September 1735. Husayn was forced to flee to Sousse, while his troops in Tunis capitulated. Husayn was captured and beheaded on 13 September 1740.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brett & Fentress 1997, 178
  2. ^ "Lieux de culte Municipalité de Tunis" (in French). Government of Tunis. Archived from the original on August 11, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brett, Michael; Fentress, Elizabeth (1997), The Berbers, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0631207678 .
Preceded by
Ibrahim Sharif (bey of Tunis)
Bey of Tunis
1705–1735
Succeeded by
'Abu'l Hasan 'Ali I