"The Italian", the debut novel by Tunisian writer Shukri al-Mabkhout, lays bare the mechanisms of control and censorship in operation during the Ben Ali era. It is a worthy winner of this year's "Arab Booker" prize, says Günther Orth.More
The revolutions that swept across the Arab world in 2011 could have failed for any number of reasons. However, the fact that their consequences now threaten to drag entire nations into chaos and rehabilitate tyrannous rulers three years after they were unceremoniously ousted is almost worse than if there had been no uprisings in the first place. By Günther OrthMore
The Ottoman Empire, founded in 1299, collapsed in November 1922, when the last sultan, Mehmed VI, was sent into exile. The First World War had been a disaster for the empire, with British and allied forces capturing Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem. A new government, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, was set up in 1920 in Ankara, which then became the Turkish capital. Constantinople, formerly the imperial capital, was renamed Istanbul in 1930.