Libya, which had been a Muslim land since the early years of Islam, fell under the rule of Sicilian Normans. Afterward, the Almohad Caliphate (Muvahhidin) gained control over the region. In the following periods, it was captured by the Hafsid dynasty of Tunisia. After capturing Granada in 1492, the last Muslim state of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain), the Spaniards began invading North Africa.
The Spaniards seized Mers el-Kebir in 1505, Vahran (Oran) in 1509 and Bicaye in 1510, in Algeria. The sultan of Tunisia accepted Spanish sovereignty out of fear of losing his throne. Under the command of Don Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto, the Spaniards captured Bicaye, got reinforcements and then seized Tripoli, Libya's current capital, in June 1510. Around 5,000 local people were killed and thousands more were taken as captives. Following the occupation, which caused great mirth in Europe, Spain handed over the region's administration to the Regency of the Kingdom of Sicily, a vassal kingdom, in 1511. The city was settled with Christians. The Knights of St. John from Rhodes had moved to different parts of the Mediterranean after Suleiman the Magnificent I (Kanuni) conquered the island in 1522. The Spanish ceded Tripoli to the knights in 1530, along with Malta.
Works by Ahmet Kavas and Abdullah Erdem Taş contain detailed information on the conquest of Libya.
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