Cyprus is an island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. The island has a strong ties to Greek culture but other influences have held sway over the politics of the island. The proximity of the island in relation to Turkey brought the island under the Ottoman rule during the 1500s. But the country's proximity to Turkey and Syria has left it susceptible to foreign invasion and conflict over the centuries . Byzantine churches dot the island, ancient Greek amphitheaters have been found in the town of Kourion, and many hills lined with grape vineyards. Modern Cyprus is split between their Greek and Turkish history and culture. So in 1960 after several years of being controlled by the British, Cyprus was granted autonomy.