Mosque seen through the ruins of the gothic Saint Francis Church in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a cultural mixing pot, an island country just a short distance from each of the Middle East, Europe, and Northern Africa. Conquered countless times, this self-declared state was most recently separated from southern Cyprus by the Turkish invasion of 1974. Much of the country has been frozen in time, and looks the same as it did 50 years ago. Famagusta in particular has an amazing collection of gothic ruins, ironically preserved from modern development by the isolation of war.