The Enclaves and Exclaves of Cyprus
They could have made it more complex, but they would have had to try very hard
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Talks are under way in Geneva to resolve the Cyprus issue. Success would mean the reunification of the Turkish north and Greek south of the island, resolving a division that has existed since 1974.Reunification of the island would dissolve the bizarre neutral zone that separates both parts of the island, one in which time seems to have stopped for over four decades. But even a unified Cyprus would not be free of territorial anomalies. The UK would still retain two enclaves on the island.
The situation today: the neutral zone in grey, Turkish Cyprus to the north of it and Greek Cyprus to the south. The British enclaves are marked in red.
Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, the island of Cyprus is divided into two main entities: an internationally recognised Greek republic in the south, and a Turkish republic of northern Cyprus, only recognised by Turkey. The situation on the ground is however a bit more complex: a UN buffer zone separates the two states, occupying an almost impenetrable swathe of territory that cuts the country (and the capital, Nicosia) in half – thus constituting a third territorial entity on the ground.
And there is a fourth entity: the British Sovereign Base, an area encompassing 254 km² in two separate areas on the southern and western coast of the island, totalling 3% of Cyprus’ land area. Great Britain as former colonial power retained these areas when Cyprus gained independence in 1960: they continue to serve as important military outposts in a sensitive area of the world – the Middle East and the Suez Canal Zone.
The complication doesn’t end there. The southern area is called Akrotiri (also known as the Western Sovereign Base Area – WSBA), the eastern area is known as Dhekelia (officially the Eastern Sovereign Base Area – ESBA). The WSBA is completely surrounded by Greek Cypriot territory, and is a fairly 'normal' enclave. The ESBA, however, is an ingredient in the incredibly complex territorial salad that is eastern Cyprus.
Akrotiri, a.k.a. the Western Sovereign Base Area (WSBA)
The ESBA is bordered in the south by the Mediterranean Sea, in the east and west by Greek Cyprus, in the north by the UN buffer zone and by Turkish Cyprus. It thus cuts the territory of Greek Cyprus in two parts.
This effectively makes the small area east of the ESBA an exclave of Greek Cyprus. It’s unclear how this area ‘communicates’ with the main part of the state: are there corridors through which traffic can pass unhindered by the British military?
To make matters even more complicated, this map indicates three areas inside the ESBA that are part of Greek Cyprus. These three enclaves in the ESBA are Xylothimbo, Ormidhia and a small coastal area remaining unnamed in this map. These are foreign, civilian areas inside a military base. Very impractical, to say the least. Why were these areas not included in the British Sovereign Base?
Dhekelia, a.k.a. the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA)
The third, unnamed enclave (from a British point of view; from a Greek Cypriot perspective, the area is also an exclave) is Dhekelia power station, according to Wikipedia. Its area is again divided into two by a British military road. The southern part borders the sea, but does not possess Greek Cypriot territorial waters.
The ESBA also includes an area calles Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas), which in its turn is not contiguous with the main area of the ESBA. Why was this difficult territorial setup chosen?
The map seems to indicate that the sliver of land between Agios Nikolaos and the rest of the ESBA is under administration of the UN. How does traffic between these two parts work?
Conversely, there is a strip of UN territory to the east of Agios Nikolaos separating Greek from Turkish Cyprus which is not linked to the rest of the UN buffer zone. Can UN monitors pass freely through British military territory?
Agios Nikolaos seems to be the only part of the border between Greek and Turkish Cyprus which is not controlled by the UN. Is the British Army responsible for the maintenance of the cease-fire in this area?
All maps taken from the relevant Wikipedia page.
Strange Maps #33
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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