Akrotiri

 

By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the independent Republic of Cyprus, the UK retained full sovereignty and jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 square kilometres – Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The southernmost and smallest of these is the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the Western Sovereign Base Area.

Geography:
Location:  

Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus

Geographic coordinates:  

34 37 N, 32 58 E

Map references:  

Middle East

Area:  

total: 123 sq. km

note: includes a salt lake and wetlands

Area – comparative:  

about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  

total: 47.4 km

border countries: Cyprus 47.4 km

Coastline:  

56.3 km

Climate:  

temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters

Environment – current issues:  

hunting around the salt lake; note – breeding place for loggerhead and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on the base

Geography – note:  

British extraterritorial rights also extended to several small off-post sites scattered across Cyprus; of the Sovereign Base Area land, 60% is privately owned and farmed, 20% is owned by the Ministry of Defence, and 20% is SBA Crown land

People:
Population: approximately 15,700 live on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia including 7,700 Cypriots, 3,600 Service and UK-based contract personnel, and 4,400 dependents
Languages: English, Greek
Government:
Country name: conventional long form:  none

conventional short form: Akrotiri

Dependency status: a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus
Capital: name: Episkopi Cantonment (base administrative centre for Akrotiri and Dhekelia)

geographic coordinates: 34 40 N, 32 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Constitution: Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document
Legal system: the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to deal with civil and criminal matters; laws applicable to the Cypriot population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Administrator Air Vice-Marshal Richard LACEY (since 26 April 2006); note – reports to the British Ministry of Defence

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the administrator is appointed by the monarch

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description: the flag of the UK is used
Communications:
Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM 1, shortwave NA (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)
Television broadcast stations: 0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)
Military:

Military – note:

Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces on Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit

Economy:

Economy – overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Currency (code): euro (EUR) adopted 1 January 2008; note – the Cypriot pound (CYP) formerly used
Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds per US dollar – 0.4286 (2007), 0.46019 (2006), 0.4641 (2005), 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003)