The prevalence of self-reported asthma was studied in a group of Turkish adults using the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaire distributed during 1994 local elections in Ankara, Turkey. A total of 2020 questionnaires were issued and 1820(90%) were returned. The mean age of the subjects was 34.5 +/- 10.2 years. The prevalence of wheezing at any time in the past was 39.1% which is much higher than has been reported in the literature. However, only 21.7% of the study population had wheezing in the year preceding the survey and 2.9% of them had severe asthma attacks. The prevlaences of nocturnal wheeze, nocturnal cough and morning tightness were higher in females (P = 0.05 for each). The results of this study showed a high rate of reported symptoms but a low rate of diagnosis and treatment of asthma among the adult population in Ankara.