In 1960, following a bitter struggle, the British colonial power, agreed to concede a (qualified) independence to Cyprus. As the price of such independence, however, the UK government insisted on retaining sovereignty in perpetuity over two sovereign base areas, Dhekelia and Akrotiri, the largest Royal Air Force base outside the United Kingdom. These bases cover three per cent of the land area of the island. Such retention of control over part of a former colonial territory is unique in the history of British decolonization and has manifest consequences for the people of Cyprus.
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