Cyprus has a long and varied history. It was settled by the Greeks in about 1200 BC. Its strategic position made it an object of contest among the great powers ruling the world at different time periods. As a result the island was occupied through the ages by many different races the main ones being the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, French, Venetians, Turks and British. Each one of these races, in its own way, let its mark on the island but the Greek character of the island remains predominant.
Also the British, who were the last to control Cyprus before the island eventually became an independent sovereign Republic in 1960, have unmistakably left their mark on commerce, law, public administration and business life in general, all of which have developed along the British model.