Dhekelia

Introduction 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 larger of these is the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the Eastern Sovereign Base Area.
History

The Sovereign Base Areas were created in 1960 by the Treaty of Establishment, when Cyprus, a colony within the British Empire, was granted independence. The United Kingdom wished to retain sovereignty over these areas, as this guaranteed the use of UK military bases in Cyprus, including RAF Akrotiri, and a garrison of the British Army. The importance of the bases to the British is based on the strategic location of Cyprus, at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, close to the Suez Canal and the Middle East; the ability to use the RAF base as staging post for military aircraft; and for general training purposes.

In 1974, Turkey invaded the North of Cyprus, leading to the establishment of the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However, this did not affect the status of the bases, and the British were not involved in the fighting. Greek Cypriots fleeing from the Turks were permitted to travel through the Dhekelia base, and were given humanitarian aid. The Turkish advance halted when it reached the edge of the base area, rather than risk war with Britain.

The Southern part of the Famagusta province, which includes the now famed resort town of Ayia Napa was preserved in Greek hands. The occupation of the City of Famagusta gave way to a monumental development of the tourist industry of the Southern part of Famagusta province, including resorts like Protaras, Ayia Napa, Paralimni and others which were small villages before 1974.

Geography Location: on the southeast coast of Cyprus near Famagusta
Geographic coordinates: 34 59 N, 33 45 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 130.8 sq km
note: area surrounds three Cypriot enclaves
Area - comparative: about three-quarters the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 103 km (approximately)
border countries: Cyprus 103 km (approximately)
Coastline: 27.5 km
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Environment - current issues: netting and trapping of small migrant songbirds in the spring and autumn
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 Defense, and 20% is SBA Crown land
Politics

According to the Ministry of Defence, "Because the SBAs are primarily required as military bases and not ordinary dependent territories, the Administration reports to the Ministry of Defence in London. It has no formal connection with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the British High Commission in Nicosia, although there are close informal links with both offices on policy matters." [4]

The bases are administered by the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas, who is the Commander of British Forces Cyprus (from 2006 Air Vice-Marshal R Lacey). The Administrator is officially appointed by the British monarch, on the advice of the Ministry of Defence. The Administrator has all the executive and legislative authority of a Governor of an overseas territory. A Chief Officer is appointed, and is responsible to the Administrator for the day-to-day running of the civil government. No elections are held in the Bases, although British citizens are normally entitled to vote in United Kingdom elections (as British Forces or overseas electors).

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: Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area
conventional short form: Dhekelia
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); located in Akrotiri
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 Defense
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
Demographics

When the bases were being established, the boundaries were drawn up to avoid centres of population. However, around 14,000 people live in the bases. Around 7,000 native Cypriots live in the bases, who either work in the bases themselves, or on farmland within the boundaries of the bases. The British military and their families make up the rest of the population.

There is no specific citizenship available for the bases, although some people may be able to claim British Overseas Territories citizenship (BOTC) status. Unlike all other British territories, BOTCs connected solely with the Sovereign Base Areas do not have any entitlement to full British citizenship.

Under the terms of the 1960 agreement with Cyprus establishing the Sovereign Base Areas, the United Kingdom is committed not to use the Areas for civilian purposes. This was stated in 2002 as the primary reason for the exclusion of the Areas from the scope of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002.

Economy Economy - overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Dhekelia. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Industries: none
Currency (code): euro (EUR) adopted 1 January 2008; note - the Cypriot pound (CYP) formerly used
Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.46019 (2006), 0.4641 (2005), 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003)
Communications Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM 1 (located in Akrotiri), 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)
International controversy In 1956, even as British sentries manned road-blocks across the island, RAF bombers were taking off from Cyprus to bomb Suez. Egyptian guerrillas were flown into Larnaca for interrogation and torture,according to at least one survivor. [1] In September 1994, a young Danish tour guide named Louise Jensen was dragged from her boyfriend by Allan Ford, Justin Fowler and Geoff Pernell, members of the Royal Green Jackets, raped and murdered. The soldiers were convicted and sentenced by a Cypriot court to 25 years, but released after 12 years.
Military Military - note: includes Dhekelia Garrison and Ayios Nikolaos Station connected by a roadway