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Cyprus: Sovereign Base Areas (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2003-09-27 by
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[Union Jack]by Antònio Martins


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Sovereign Base Areas (United Kingdom)

Cyprus gained its independence only in exchange for the creation of three British military bases on its territory: these are the base of Akrotiri, the base of Dhekelia and the Mount Olympus radar centre on the top of the Troodos Mountains. The British law is the only law there.

Source: Le grand guide de Chypre (Gallimard, 1993)

Pascal Vagnat 23 November 1995

The bases cover 99 square miles of the island. They were prescribed by the1960 Treaty of Establishment.

Panayiotis Panayiotou, 25 November 2002


Use of flags on the bases

According to Colours of the Fleet [frr9X]:
"The two Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus are administered by the Commander British Forces on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, and not by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. At one time the RAF Ensign was taken to be the de-facto national flag of the Sovereign Base Areas because of local political sensitivity to the use of the Union Flag in Cyprus."

The British Sovereign Bases are a remnant of the British Empire and are, as their name implies, British territory, and so the Cyprus flag would only be flown as a courtesy "foreign" flag.

David Prothero & Graham Bartram, 26 May 1999

The flag flying at the Britsh bases is the Union Jack although the RAF flag might be seen, but more rarely. At the check points only the Union Jack can be seen. New highways have been built bypassing both bases resulting in less cars using the old roads (Limassol-Paphos crossing Akrotiri and Larnaka-Ayia Napa crossing Dhekelia) and therefore the checks are now less than before. In the bases, the traffic signs and the road lines are slightly different from that of the Republic of Cyprus and the police there is the British police of the bases.

Panayiotis Panayiotou, 25 November 2002

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