Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Its history dates back to the Greeks around 3000 BCE or earlier, when it was an important trading centre, a source of copper, and a cultural dissemination point.
All this good stuff made it a target of the Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine empires. Richard the Lion-Heart took the island in 1191, and sold it to the Knights Templar. The Franks, the Venetians, and the Ottomons ruled Cyprus over the next 700 years, and Britain took over in 1878. Cyprus finally became an independent republic in 1960, but the Turks in the northern part of the island declared independence in 1983.
Cyprus on Wikipedia