Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, covering 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi). Its northernmost point, Ras ben Sakka, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. As of 2013, its population is estimated at just under 10.8 million. Its name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, located on the country's northeast coast.
Its customary name is rendered in English as Tunisia (US /tuːˈniːʒə/too-NEE-zhə or UK /tjuːˈnɪziə/tew-NIZ-i-ə); in Arabic (official language) as تونسTūnis (pronounced [ˈtuːnɪs]); in French (often used in commerce and as a lingua franca) as Tunisie; and in Berber as ⵜⵓⵏⴻⵙ. Officially, the country is the Tunisian Republic (though often referred to in English as the Republic of Tunisia; Arabic: الجمهورية التونسيةal-Jumhūriyyah at-Tūnisiyyah; French: République tunisienne; and Berber: ⵜⴰⴳⴷⵓⴷⴰ ⵏ ⵜⵓⵏⴻⵙ)
Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil. Its 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) of coastline includes the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, features the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar.
Tunisia has a high human development index. It has an association agreement with the European Union and is a member of La Francophonie, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League, and the African Union. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation, privatisation and industrial modernization.
Inhabited by Berbers in ancient times, Phoenician immigration starting in the 12th century BC founded Carthage. A rival to Greece that almost destroyed Rome in the Second Punic War Carthage was eventually defeated by the Romans in the Battle of Carthage of 149 BC. Romans brought architecture include El Djem amphitheater, and Christianity. Tunisia was conquered by Arabs in the first century of Islam. Between 1534 and 1574 Ottomans gained ruler-ship, followed by the French in 1881. Tunisia gained independence with the Habib Bourguiba declaring the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Arab Spring resulted in the overthrow of the President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali followed by parliamentary elections. The country voted for parliament again on October 26, 2014, and its Presidentials on November 23, 2014.