Sand flies (Diptera: Phlebotominae) were surveyed for Leishmania in various villages of Sanliurfa in southeast Turkey. A total of 474 sand flies were collected by CDC light traps. Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot (49.6%) and Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) (48.1%) were the most abundant species, followed by Phlebotomus alexandri Sinton (1.05%), Phlebotomus perfiliewi Parrot (0.4%), Phlebotomus (Adlerius) sp. (0.2%) and Sergentomyia theodori Parrot (0.4%). 196 female sand flies were grouped in 34 pools of max 10 specimens each and 4 pools of P. sergenti were found positive for Leishmania DNA, detected by using ITS-1 primer set. This is the first molecular detection and identification of Leishmania tropica within naturally infected P. sergenti from the most important focus of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Turkey. The high frequency of P. sergenti together with natural infection by the parasite makes this species the probable vector of L. tropica in Sanliurfa. The data obtained from this study could be used in strategic planning for the control of leishmaniasis in the region. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.