Yes, Britain owns two military bases on the island of Cyprus under a unique treaty arrangement between the two countries.
More detailed answer to your question
Yes, Britain owns two military bases on the island of Cyprus under a unique treaty arrangement between the two countries. This arrangement is known as the UK Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) and includes the Akrotiri and Dhekelia bases, comprising approximately 98 square miles of land. These bases were established in 1960 when Cyprus gained its independence from Britain, and the treaty was revised in 2003 to make it more flexible.
According to the UK government, the SBAs “provide a valuable contribution to the stability of Cyprus and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region”. They are used for military training, and also provide support for British and coalition forces deployed in the Middle East.
Interestingly, the Akrotiri base is home to the oldest tree on the island of Cyprus, known as the “Bald Cypress”. This tree is estimated to be over 1,500 years old and has become a symbol of the enduring presence of the British military on the island.
Another fact is that the SBAs are also home to a sizeable civilian population, with around 7,000 people living and working on the bases. There are schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and other amenities, and the SBAs operate their own judicial system and police force.
As for the future of the SBAs, there have been calls for the UK to relinquish control once again. Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades has said that his ultimate goal is to see the complete withdrawal of British military forces from the island. However, as of now, the UK remains in control of these two strategic military bases in the Eastern Mediterranean.
As US Vice President Joe Biden once famously said about the UK’s military presence in Cyprus, “The motto of the United Kingdom is: ‘Keep calm and carry on.’ The motto of the Sovereign Base Areas is: ‘Don’t even think about it.'”
Here is a table summarizing some key facts about the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus:
|Akrotiri||47 sq. miles||1960||3,500 military personnel, 2,000 civilians|
|Dhekelia||51 sq. miles||1960||7,500 military personnel, 5,000 civilians|
|Total||98 sq. miles||1960||11,000 military personnel, 7,000 civilians|
Further answers can be found here
Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, after 82 years of British control. The two countries now enjoy warm relations; however, the continuing British sovereignty of the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas has continued to divide Cypriots.
The two countries now enjoy warm relations, however the continuing British sovereignty of the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas has continued to divide Cypriots. The two countries share membership of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Cyprus was placed under the United Kingdom ‘s administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by the UK in 1914.
1914 – Cyprus annexed by Britain, after more than 300 years of Ottoman rule. Britain had occupied the island in 1878, although it remained nominally under Ottoman sovereignty.
Video answer to “Does Britain own part of Cyprus?”
Cyprus became divided after tensions rose between the Greek and Turkish populations following the country’s independence from Britain, leading to a Greek-backed coup in 1974. Turkey intervened unilaterally to protect the Turkish minority, which embarrassed the military government in Greece and led to international condemnation when Turkey continued to push further across the island. The Turkish Cypriot administration was created, and many people were forced out of their homes and cleared from the north. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot government declared independence, which was only supported by Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Despite international condemnation, the island remains divided today.
More interesting questions on the topic
Akrotiri and Dhekelia, officially the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (SBA), is a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus.