This paper investigates the status of geothermal development in Turkey as of the end of 1999. Turkey is one of the countries with significant potential in geothermal energy. Resource assessments have been made many times by the Mineral Research and Exploration Directorate (MTA) of Turkey. The main uses of geothermal energy are mostly moderate- and low-temperature applications such as space heating and domestic hot water supply, greenhouse heating, swimming and balneology, industrial processes, heat pumps and electricity generation. The data accumulated since 1962 show that the estimated geothermal power and direct use potential are about 4500 MWe and 31500 MWt, respectively. The direct use capacity in thermal applications is in total 640 MWt representing only 2 per cent of its total potential. Since 1990, space heating and greenhouse developments have exhibited a significant progress. The total area of greenhouses heated by geothermal energy reached up to about 31 ha with a heating capacity of 69.61 MWt. A geothermal power plant with a capacity of 20.4 MWe and a CO2 factory with a capacity 40 000 ton yr(-1) have been operated in the Denizli-Kizildere field since 1984 and 1986, respectively. Ground source heat pumps have been used in residential buildings for heating and cooling for approximately 2 years. Present applications have shown that geothermal energy in Turkey is clean and much cheaper compared to the other energy sources like fossil fuels and therefore is a promising alternative. As the projects are recognized by the public, the progress will continue. Copyright (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.