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  Cyprus
What's happening?
Why is Cyprus divided?
Greek Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
The British Bases
Cyprus factfile

 
RAF vehicle ablaze after riot outside a base on Cyprus The British Bases
In the past Cyprus was run by Britain. It was a crown colony in the same way that Gibraltar is today.

When Cyprus became an independent country in 1960 the British Government kept ownership of 250 square kilometres of land on the south coast of the island.

3,500 members of the British armed forces are based on the land. They live and work on two military bases. The bases are sovereign territory, that means they are actually part of the UK.

The bases are important as they allow the British military to watch and fly planes over sensitive areas in the Middle East.

Recently there have been demonstrations and violence outside the British base at Arkotiri.

Some Cypriots were worried that new aerials and transmitters being built on the base could harm their health. Others think that it is wrong for Britain to own a part of their island.


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