Facts and stats about Akrotiri
Akrotiri is a peninsula which is part of the Municipality of Chania. Actually, Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two small administered areas in Cyprus. It is under British Overseas Territory and composes the Eastern Sovereign (Dhekelia) and Western Sovereign (Akrotiri) base areas. The UK maintained these facilities after Cyprus gained its independence in 1960 due to the strategic location of this country in the Mediterranean Sea.
For the last 50 years, Cyprus has been asking the UK for the return of Akrotiri and Dhekelia to its dominion. The government of Cyprus insists that the land legally belongs to them and that British control of both areas further hampers Cypriot development. The British consider Akrotiri and Dhekelia vital bases. There have been offers of compromise but until today no settlement has been reached.
Akrotiri has no real civil governments. It is administered by the British as military stations. No commercial or civilian developments are allowed to take place both in Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Likewise, permanent settlement of residents is prohibited. Consequently, the tourism industry will not prosper in these British-controlled territories although Cyprus offers a lot of travel opportunities.
During the Syrian Civil War last year, Cypriot and UK media sources claimed that long-range ballistic missiles fired from Syria could have hit Cyprus. This was allegedly in reprisal against the Unite Kingdom for its supposed involvement in military intervention against the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad. Cypriot media speculated that the bases in Akrotiri and Dhekelia jeopardized the Cypriot populations near those military camps. However, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides assuaged these fears saying that British bases were unlikely to play a primary role in any interference. Akrotiri is under the supervision of a British Administrator who is also the commander of UK military units in Cyprus. This overseer possesses the executive and legislative authority of the Governor of an overseas territory.