Thursday, 25 October 2012



There is an island called Santorini. On the island of Santorini lays an ancient city called Akrotiri. Akrotiri was once home to the Minoan civilization. Today it is home to a large archeological site to unearth the city and find its wonders.
The Sovereign Base Areas were created in 1960 by the Treaty of Establishment, when Cyprus achieved independence from the British Empire. The United Kingdom desired to retain sovereignty over these areas, as this guaranteed the use of UK military bases in Cyprus, including RAF Akrotiri, and a garrison of the British Army. The importance of the bases to the British is based on the strategic location of Cyprus, at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, close to the Suez Canal and the Middle East; the ability to use the RAF base as staging post for military aircraft; and for general training purposes.
In 1974, following a military coup by the Greek-Cypriot National Guard attempting to achieve enosis (union with Greece), Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus, leading to the establishment of the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However, this did not affect the status of the bases. Greek Cypriots fleeing from the Turks were permitted to travel through the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area, and were given humanitarian aid, with those from Achna setting up a new village (Dasaki Achnas or Achna Forest) which is still in the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area.The Turkish advance halted when it reached the edge of the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area to avoid military conflict with the United Kingdom. In the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area a tented refugee camp was set up at "Happy Valley" (part of the Episkopi Cantonment) to house Turkish Cypriots fleeing from Limassol and the villages surrounding the Area, until in 1975 they were flown out of RAF Akrotiri via Turkey to northern Cyprus. Some Greek Cypriot refugees remain housed on land in the parts of Trachoni and Kolossi villages that fall within the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area.
Geographycal View
Akrotiri and Dhekelia cover 3% of the land area of Cyprus, a total of 254 km2 (98 sq mi) (123 km² (47.5) at Akrotiri and 131 km2 (51 sq mi) (50.5) at Dhekelia). Sixty percent of the land is privately owned, either by British or Cypriot citizens. The other 40% is owned by the Ministry of Defence, or is classed as Crown land. In addition to Akrotiri and Dhekelia themselves, the Treaty of Establishment also provides for the continued use by the British Government of certain facilities within Cyprus, known as Retained Sites.
Akrotiri is located in the south of the island, near the city of Limassol (or Lemesos). Dhekelia is in the southeast, near Larnaca. Both of these areas include military bases, as well as farmland and some residential land. Akrotiri is surrounded by territory controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, but Dhekelia also borders on the United Nations (UN) buffer zone and the area controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Ayia Napa lies to the East of Dhekelia. The villages of Xylotymbou and Ormidhia, also in the Republic of Cyprus, are enclaves surrounded by Dhekelia SBA. The Dhekelia Power Station, divided by a British road into two parts, also belongs to Cyprus. The northern part is an enclave, like the two villages, whereas the southern part is located by the sea, and therefore not an enclave, though it has no territorial waters of its own.
There are no economic statistics gathered for Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The main economic activities are the provision of services to the military, as well as limited agriculture. On 1 January 2008 Akrotiri and Dhekelia adopted the euro along with the rest of Southern Cyprus, despite not being part of the European Union. The Sovereign Base Areas are the only areas under British sovereignty to use the euro.



Capital: Kabul
Dialing code: 93
Currency: Afghan afghani
GDP: 20.34 billion USD (2011) World Bank
Official language: Pashto language, Dari
Government: Presidential system, Islamic republic

Afghanistan has been in the news recently because of the War on Terror, Osama Bin Laden, Tribal wars and Opium production. But Afghanistan is a diverse country with a rich heritage. It is so much more than what has been seen in the news. It has gotten a very bad reputation for the events over the past ten years, but there are many things about it that people miss. Here are a few facts about that most people do not know and show the country deserves a second look.

5 Facts You Might Not Know about Afghanistan

1 - Afghanistan has rich mineral deposits. Afghanistan is a country on top of billions of dollars of untapped minerals. Much of this is natural gas and petroleum, but it is also a place where other rich minerals are deposited. Lapis lazuli, a beautiful blue stone used to be mined exclusively in Afghanistan. Many of the most brilliant works of art that include rich blues are only in existence because this mineral was used to make the blue pigment
2 - There are over 30 different languages spoken in Afghanistan. Dari is spoken by fifty percent of the people in Afghanistan, however it is by no means the only language spoken. There are at least thirty minor languages spoken by the multitude of different cultures there. The second most popular language spoken in Afghanistan is Pashto at only 35 percent of the population.
3 - The Afghan culture is over 2000 years old. There are very few places in the world where the culture has been preserved for this long. Because of the nomadic and tribal culture different regions have different cultures making it one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Afghans have pride in their culture and hold festivals to celebrate it.
4 - They play the same sports as everyone else. Many people have seen pictures of people in Afghanistan dragging a goat around for fun, but most people don't know football (soccer) is a much more popular sport. The Afghan football team has been competing on the world stage since 1941. Other sports Afghans love include cricket, volleyball, basketball, and boxing.
5 - Afghanistan produces good traditional and modern music. Kabul produces the same quality of talented musicians as anywhere else. Many of them use both traditional and modern music to produce a unique sound that can only be found in Afghanistan. Musicians get to showcase their talent at New Years and and National Independence Day celebrations.