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Annales islamologiques 46
2013 IFAO
14 p.
gratuit - free of charge
L’exercice du pouvoir sur les communautés oasiennes de Gafsa (Tunisie) aux XVIIe, XVIIIe et XIXe siècles. Pratiques et représentations

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the Gafsa region, South-West of the Ottoman Regency of Tunis, seemed to know a new era in the relations between the oasis communities and the central government. Various mechanisms were used by the Turkish military-political class to ensure the allegiance of local populations. The ratio of military force was maintained for the center through the permanent presence of a garrison of Turkish asker the Casbah of Gafsa, periodic stays of “Winter Mehalla” in Dār al-Bey, in the city center, and the makhzenisation of the neighboring tribes (Hamama). The establishment of a political and administrative system favored the recovery of some local notables. The collection of taxes by the central government was considered as the necessary price to guarantee public order, security and justice. The legitimization of power was reinforced by the instrumentalization of religion in its various forms. Perceptions of power by the local communities indicate changes in the degree of acceptance. Images, sometimes contradictory, of the power of “al-Turk” especially in the 17th century indicate that the population was torn between the fear of abuse and the expectation of a body that would guarantee security. In the 19th century, new concepts in the local discourse show a change in the perception of the state as a concrete component of the everyday life of the people. The exercise of power can be better understood when studied in terms of convergence of interests and interrelationships.

Keywords: Gafsa – Tunisia – Tunis (regency of) – Maghreb – oasis – exercise of power – political/religious.