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



Eastern Mediterranean, on the southeast coast of Cyprus near Famagusta

Geographic coordinates

34.59° N, 33.45° E

Area 223/257

total: 130.8 sq km

note: area surrounds three Cypriot enclaves

Area - comparative

about three-quarters the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 108 km

border countries (1): Cyprus 108 km


27.5 km


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

People and Society


English, Greek


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 name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Dhekelia


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


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); amended 1966 (2015)

Legal system

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

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Administrator Air Vice-Marshall Michael WIGSTON (since 21 January 2015); note - reports to the British Ministry of Defense

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; administrator appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Ministry of Defense

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

Flag description

the flag of the UK is used

National anthem

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


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.



Exchange rates

note: uses the euro


Broadcast media

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

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)