Introduction

Europe :: Akrotiri (UK Sovereign Base Area)

Background:
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 kilometers - 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:
Europe

Area:
Total: 123 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 224
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 (SBA) land, 60% is privately owned and farmed, 20% is owned by the Ministry of Defense, and 20% is SBA Crown land

People and Society

Languages:
English, Greek

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
Country comparison to the world: 222

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 center 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 Marshall Graham STACEY (since 4 November 2010); note - reports to the British Ministry of Defense; the Chief Officer is responsible for the day-to-day running of the civil government of the Sovereign Bases
Elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; the administrator appointed by the monarch

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Senior Judges' Court (consists of several visiting judges from England and Wales)
Judge selection and term of office: judges appointment and tenure NA
Subordinate courts: Resident Judges' Court; Courts Martial

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

National anthem:
Note: as a United Kingdom area of special sovereignty, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

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.

Exchange rates:
Note: uses the euro

Communications

Broadcast media:
British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite TV service as well as BFBS radio broadcasts to the Akrotiri Sovereign Base (2009)

Military

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK; Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit

Flag of Akrotiri



Flag description:
the flag of the UK is used