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.
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.
Its major environmental issues include: hunting around the salt lake. It is a breeding place for loggerhead and green turtles and the only remaining colony of griffon vultures.
Location: Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus
Geographic Coordinates: 34 37 N, 32 58 E
Area: 123 sq km (includes a salt lake and wetlands)
Land Boundaries: 47.4 km with Cyprus
Coastline: 56.3 km
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Government Type: a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus
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
Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Map of Cyprus with Akrotiri and Dhekelia in pink. Akrotiri is on the western portion of the island. The map is adapted from the CIA World Factbook map.
Source: Wikimedia Commons