The countries of the Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) are frequently linked to the Middle East due to their strong historical and cultural associations, as is Sudan. The African countries Mauritania and Somalia also have links to the region. Turkey and Cyprus, although geographically close to the Middle East, consider themselves to be part of Europe. To the east, Afghanistan is sometimes linked to the Middle East.
With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, Near East largely fell out of common use, while Middle East came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Arab world. (It should be noted, however, that several academic disciplines, such as archaeology and ancient history, retain the use of Near East as a common designation, describing an area identical to that described by the more widely-used Middle East).