"Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution". He came to power as the result of a coup d'etat in 1969 when Gaddafi was only 27, and a junior officer in the army.
He took over from ailing King Idris and his nephew the Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi. In 1977, he proclaimed a "People's Revolution", changed the name of the country
Information on Libya — geography, history, politics, government, economy, population statistics, culture, religion, languages, largest cities, as well as a map
The History of Libya includes the history of its rich mix of ethnic groups added to the indigenous Berber tribes. Berbers, the bulk of Libya's population, have been
HISTORY OF LIBYA including The Barbary coast:, Italo-Turkish War, World Wars and Fascism, Royal Libya, The Gaddafi regime
With the decline of the local Berber dynasties in the 15th and 16th centuries, the valuable coastal strip of north Africa (known because of the Berbers as the Barbary coast) attracts the attention of the two most powerful Mediterranean states of the time - Spain in the west, Turkey in the east.
The Spanish-Turkish rivalry lasts for much of the 16th century, but it is gradually won - in a somewhat unorthodox manner - by the Turks. Their successful device is to allow Turkish pirates, or corsairs, to establish themselves along the coast. The territories seized by the corsairs are then given a formal status as protectorates of the Ottoman empire.
The first such pirate establishes himself on the coast of Algeria in 1512. Two others are firmly based in Libya by 1551. Tunisia is briefly taken in 1534 by the most famous corsair of them all, Khair ed-Din (known to the Europeans as Barbarossa). Recovered for Spain in 1535, Tunisia is finally brought under Ottoman control in 1574.
Piracy remains the chief purpose and main source of income of all these Turkish settlements along the Barbary coast. And the depredations of piracy, after three centuries, at last prompt French intervention in Algeria. This, at any rate, is stated by the French at the time to be the cause of their intervention. The reality is somewhat less glorious.
Algiers is occupied by the French in 1830, but it is not until 1847 that the French conquest of Algeria is complete - after prolonged resistance from the Berber hinterland, which has never been effectively controlled by the Turks on the coast.
It is in the European interest to police this entire troublesome Barbary region. Tunisia becomes a French protectorate in 1881, and Morocco (which has maintained a shaky independence, under its own local sultans, since the end of the Marinid dynasty) follows in 1912. Italy takes Libya from the Turks in 1912. The regions of the Barbary coast thus enter their last colonial phase before independence.
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