Akrotiri Country Information
Travel Advice with Country Information from the CIA.
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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.
Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus
34 37 N, 32 58 E
total: 123 sq km
note: includes a salt lake and wetlands - country comparison to the world: 223
about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
total: 48 km
border countries (1): Cyprus 48 km
temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
hunting around the salt lake; note - breeding place for loggerhead and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on the base
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
approximately 18,195 on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia including 11,000 Cypriots and 7,195 Service and UK-based contract personnel and dependents (2020)
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Akrotiri
etymology: named for the village that lies within the Western Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus
a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus.
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.
etymology: "Episkopi" means "episcopal" in Greek and stems from the fact that the site previously served as the bishop's seat of an Orthodox diocese.
History: Presented 3 August 1960, effective 16 August 1960 (The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960 serves as a basic legal document).
Amendments: amended 1966.
Laws applicable to the Cypriot population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus; note - the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to deal with civil and criminal matters.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952).
head of government: Administrator Major General Robert J. THOMSON (since 25 September 2019); note - administrator 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/appointments: The monarchy is hereditary; administrator appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Ministry of Defense.
highest courts: Senior Judges' Court (consists of several visiting judges from England and Wales).
judge selection and term of office: see entry for United Kingdom.
subordinate courts: Resident Judges' Court; Courts Martial.
none (overseas territory of the UK)
embassy: none (overseas territory of the UK).
The flag of the UK is used
note: as a UK area of special sovereignty, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom).
Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
note: uses the euro.
British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite TV service as well as BFBS radio broadcasts to the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area.
total: 1 (2020) - country comparison to the world: 209
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Military and Security
defense is the responsibility of the UK; Akrotiri has a full RAF base, headquarters for British Forces Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit.