Ottoman Empire, a Muslim Turkish empire that covered a vast area of the Middle East, southeastern Europe, and North Africa. It was founded in the 14th century and existed until the last sultan was deposed in 1922. What was left of its domain became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. The Ottoman Empire, which came to be known also as the Turkish Empire, or Turkey for short, exerted profound influence over European and Middle Eastern affairs for some 500 years. Its collapse in the 19th and 20th centuries caused a succession of wars over control of its former possessions.