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Derna (; ar, درنة ') is a
port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can a ...

port
city in eastern
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
. It has a population of 100,000–150,000. It was the seat of one of the wealthiest provinces in the
Barbary States The terms Barbary Coast, Barbary, Berbery or Berber Coast were used in English-language sources (similarly to equivalent terms in other languages) from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa or Maghreb ...
, and remains the capital of the
Derna District Derna ( ar, درنة ''Darnah'') is one of the districts of Libya There are twenty-two districts of Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Libya, ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībīyā) is a country in the Ma ...
, with a much smaller area. Derna has a unique environment among Libyan cities, as it lies between green mountains, the Mediterranean Sea, and the desert. The city is also home to people of mixed origins. The city was also the location of the famous Battle of Derna (1805), the first victory achieved by the
United States Military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between s ...
on foreign soil. Occurring during the
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barb ...
, the battle was fought between a force of roughly 500 US Marines and Mediterranean mercenaries and 4,000 or 5,000 Barbary troops. Parts of the city were taken over by
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are ...
(ISIL) militants in October 2014. In June 2015
Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna The Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna ( ar, مجلس شورى مجاهدي درنة) was a coalition of Islamist militias that advocate the implementation of Sharia law Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law fo ...
defeated ISIL and took control over the town, before being expelled themselves by the
Libyan National Army This article is about Libyans (ليبيون) and their population density, Ethnic group, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, and religious affiliations, as well as other aspects of the Libyan population. No comple ...

Libyan National Army
in the
Battle of Derna (2018–2019) The Battle of Derna was a military campaign by the Libyan National Army to recapture the city of Derna, Libya, Derna from the Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna, which lasted from 7 May 2018 until 12 February 2019. The majority of military oper ...
.


Name

''Darnis'' and ''Darne'' were the Greek forms of the name for the city.
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
(IV, 4, 2; 5; 6)
While the form ''Dardanis'' is sometimes found, it is erroneous. Under Rome the city was referred to as ''Darnis'' and ''Derna''. Under Islam, it was known as ''Derneh'' (''Derne'', ''Dernah'') or ''Terneh'' (''Ternah'').


History


Classic era and Middle Ages

In the
Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...
the ancient city of Darnis was part of the Libyan Pentapolis. Under Rome, it became a civil and later the religious metropolis of the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Libya Secunda Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in An ...
, or
Libya Inferior Marmarica (Greek language, Greek Μαρμαρική) in Greco-Roman geography, ancient geography was a littoral area in Ancient Libya, located between ''Cyrenaica'' and ''Egypt (Roman province), Aegyptus''. It corresponds to what is now the Libya a ...
, that is, the Marmarica region. The names of some of its
metropolitan bishop In Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' deriv ...
s are found in extant documents. Piso was one of the Eastern bishops who withdrew from the
Council of Sardica The Council of Serdica, or Synod of Serdica (also Sardica located in modern day Sofia, Bulgaria Sofia ( ; bg, София, Sofiya, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the ...
and set up their own council at in 347. Early 5th-century Dioscorus is known because of a dispute he had with the bishop of Erythrum. Daniel took part in the
Council of Ephesus The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western ...
in 431. In addition,
John Moschus John Moschus ( el, Ιωάννης Μόσχος, c. 550 – 619; name from the grc, ὁ τοῦ Μόσχου, o tou Moschou, son of Moschos, was a Byzantine monk and Asceticism, ascetical writer. Biography He was born about 550 probably at Damascu ...
speaks of a bishop Thedodorus of Darnis as having had a vision of
Saint Leo the Great In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and Christian denomination, denomination. ...
in the mid-5th century. No longer a residential bishopric, Darnis is today listed by the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
as a
titular see A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary (Catholic Church), ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular metropolitan" (highe ...
. The city was resettled by the Islamic refugees from Spain () in 1493 on the site of the ancient settlement.


Modern era


Ottoman times

Under Ottoman rule, Derna was initially under the governor at
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
, but shortly after 1711, it fell under the Karamanli sultanate until 1835, when it became a dependency of the autonomous
sanjak Sanjaks (liwāʾ) (plural form: alwiyāʾ) * Armenian language, Armenian: նահանգ (''nahang''; meaning "province") * Bulgarian language, Bulgarian: окръг (''okrǔg''; meaning "county", "province", or "region") * el, Διοίκησι ...
of
Benghazi () , ; it, Bengasi; tr, Bingazi; ber, Bernîk, script=Latn; also: ''Bengasi'', ''Benghasi'', ''Banghāzī'', ''Binghāzī'', ''Bengazi''; grc, Βερενίκη (') and '., group=note (''lit. Son of he'') is a city in . Located on the in t ...
, essentially
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
, which was governed directly from Constantinople. This in turn, in 1875, became the
vilayet A vilayet (; french: vilaïet or () * bg, област (); or () * el, επαρχία (), eparchy; or (), nomarchy * lad, provinsiya or , group=note) was a first-order administrative division, or province of the later Ottoman Empire, intr ...

vilayet
of
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
. In the 1850s, it had an estimated 4,500 inhabitants, who lived by agriculture, fishing and the coastal trade. The oldest mosque in Derna is ''Al-masjeed al-ateeq'', or the "Old Mosque", restored by wali Mahmoud Karamanli in 1772, vaulted with 42 small cupolas. This kind of vault was in use due to lack of some materials, like timber or stone in the region of Cyrenaica. There is another mosque, named ''Masjeed az-zawiyah'', built in 1846, more strictly curved in the side of a hill. The French admiral landed at Derna in June 1800 in an attempt to reinforce Napoleon in Egypt by bringing troops overland, but was rebuffed by the local garrison. Derna was the location of the 1805
Battle of Derne The Battle of Derna at Derna, Libya, Derna, Cyrenaica, was the decisive victory in April–May 1805 of a mercenary army recruited and led by United States Marines under the command of United States Army, U.S. Army Lieutenant William Eaton (soldie ...
, in which forces under U.S. Lieutenant and former Consul to Tripoli William Eaton—who had marched across the
Libyan Desert The Libyan Desert (not to be confused with the Libyan Sahara) is a geographical region filling the north-eastern  Sahara Desert, from eastern Libya to the Western Desert of Egypt and far northwestern Sudan. On medieval maps, its use predates ...
from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
—captured the city as part of the
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barb ...
.


Italian occupation

On 16 October 1911, Italian troops occupied Derna during the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result o ...
. The Italian rule over Derna lasted 29 years, 3 months, and 14 days until it was captured on 30 January 1941 by Australian Troops during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
's
North African Campaign#REDIRECT North African campaign {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
On 6 April 1941, German forces retook the city from the British, and on 15 November 1942, British forces recaptured it.


Libyan Republic and civil war

In 2007, American troops in Iraq uncovered a list of foreign fighters for the Iraqi insurgency. Of the 112 Libyans on the list, 52 had come from Derna. Derna has the reputation of being the most fundamentalist Muslim city in Libya. Following on 18 February 2011, the city came under the control of the
National Transitional Council The National Transitional Council of Libya ( ar, المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي '), sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, was the ''de facto'' government of Libya for a period during and after the Libyan Civil War ...
, breaking from the Libyan government. The city was never retaken before Gaddafi's ouster from
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
and the establishment of a new government. In October 2014, local militants affiliated with the Islamic Youth Shura Council publicly pledged
allegiance An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed, or freely committed, by the people, subjects or citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to i ...
to
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ( ar, أَبُو بَكْرٍ ٱلْبَغْدَادِيُّ, ʾAbū Bakr al-Baḡdādī), born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai ( ar, إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَوَّادِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلي ...
, the leader of the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are ...
(ISIL). In November 2014, al-Baghdadi released an audio-recording accepting the pledge of allegiance and announced the expansion of his group. In June 2015
Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna The Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna ( ar, مجلس شورى مجاهدي درنة) was a coalition of Islamist militias that advocate the implementation of Sharia law Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law fo ...
defeated ISIL and took control over the town. On June 28, 2018, forces loyal to
Khalifa Haftar Field marshal (Libya), Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar ( ar, خليفة بلقاسم حفتر, Ḵalīfa Bilqāsim Ḥaftar; born 7 November 1943) is a Libyan-American politician, military officer and the commander of the Tobruk-based Libyan ...
claimed to have taken full control of the city, following a two-year siege of the city that culminated in a month-long
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

battle
.


Geography

Derna is located at the eastern end of the Jebel Akhdar, one of the rarest forested areas in Libya, given that Libya has one of the lowest forested lands ratio on earth, which makes up a mere 0.1% of the total country due to its arid climate. However, Derna is in the proximity of the fertile upland area of eastern Libya, which is the wettest region of Libya (600 mm). Derna is linked with
Shahhat Shahhat ( ar, شحات) is a town in the District of Jabal al Akhdar in north-eastern Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region ...
by two roads; the inner one running through Al Qubah is part of the
Libyan Coastal Highway The Libyan Coastal Highway ( ar, الطريق الساحلي الليبي), formerly the Litoranea Balbo, is a highway that is the only major road that runs along the entire east-west length of the Libyan Mediterranean coastline. It is a section i ...
and the coastal one running through
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...
and Ras al Helal.


Climate

Derna features a
hot semi-arid climate A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate of a region that receives precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a desert climate. There are different kinds of semi-arid climates, depending ...
(
Köppen Köppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Carl Köppen (1833-1907), German military advisor in Meiji (era), Meiji era Japan * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), Germa ...
''BSh'') with strong
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
influences: essentially all the modest annual rains fall between October and March. The annual rainfall is around . In winter, the city's average temperature ranges between . Summers are quite long and effectively rainless with afternoon temperatures average well above between June and October.


Description

Derna is a city that has three main squares: the most popular square is the ''Maydan Assahabah.'' This square was always used for mass demonstrations against Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics L ...
. The city is also a tourist hub, due to its wonderful old city (the medina), which is home to Islamic architecture. The Medina consists of a mosque, church, synagogue, many small streets, and old s. Derna is also a city that consists of different streets and various neighborhoods, such as Downtown (Wast Il Blaad), Al Ikweih, Al Mighar, Assahel Ashargi, Al Wadi, Bab Tobruq, Al Fitayih, and Bab Shaiha.


Main sights

There are many places of tourist interest, such as the Old Medina, Dark Souq, Sahaba Mosque, Attiq Mosque (42 Domes), Zuhair ibn Qa'is Mausoleum, al Kharraza, Souq al Farda and Khidra, Piazza Hamra, Piazza Derna, Maydan Al Sahhaba, Jewish Synagogue, Byzantine Church, Catholic Church, Ras Tin Beach, Piazza Attair, Ibrahim Istaa Omar, Derna Valley, Derna Waterfall, Finar Avenue, Zangat Al Bahr (Bahr Street),
Omar Faiek Shennib Sir Omar Faiek Shennib (Omar Fayek Shennib, Omar Shannib, Omar Shannaib) ( ar, عمر فائق شنيب) was Libyan Minister of Defence, Chief of the Royal Diwan, Vice President of the Libyan National Assembly under the reign of Idris of Libya, Ki ...
Street, Zangat Al Hmar (Hmar Street).


Football

Derna is home to two main football clubs: Darnes and Al Afriqi.


See also

*
List of cities in Libya This is a list of the 100 largest populated places in Libya. Some places in the list could be considered suburbs or neighborhoods of some large cities in the list, so this list is not definitive. List ''Source:Amraja M. el Khajkhaj, "N ...


References


External links

{{Coord, 32, 46, N, 22, 38, E, region:LY_type:city, display=title Populated places in Derna District Cyrenaica Barbary Wars Darnis Baladiyat of Libya