Europe :: Akrotiri
  • Introduction :: Akrotiri
  • 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 :: Akrotiri
  • Location:
    Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus
    Geographic coordinates:
    34 37 N, 32 58 E
    Map references:
    Middle East
    total: 123 sq km

    note: includes a salt lake and wetlands

    country comparison to the world: 224
    Area - comparative:
    about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries:
    total: 48 km
    border countries (1): Cyprus 48 km
    56.3 km
    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 :: Akrotiri
  • Population:
    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)
    English, Greek
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
  • Government :: Akrotiri
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Akrotiri
    etymology: named for the village that lies within the Western Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus
    Dependency status:
    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
    Executive branch:
    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
    Judicial branch:
    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
    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
    National anthem:

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

  • Economy :: Akrotiri
  • 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 :: Akrotiri
  • Broadcast media:
    British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite TV service as well as BFBS radio broadcasts to the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area
  • Transportation :: Akrotiri
  • Airports:
    1 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Airports - with paved runways:
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
  • Military and Security :: Akrotiri
  • Military - note:
    defense is the responsibility of the UK; Akrotiri has a full RAF base, headquarters for British Forces Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit