The current research assessed the prevalence of alcohol use in istanbul, Turkey along with characteristics and severity of related problems. The data were collected from structured interviews including the CAGE Questionnaire to eliminate the severity of alcohol-related problems of 1,550 residents (743 women, 807 men) of Istanbul, ages 12 to 65 years. Current alcohol use was 25.6% (397 persons, 118 women wand 279 men), including 15.9% of the women and 34.5% of the men. 67% reported never having used alcohol. The rate of alcohol use was highest in the 40- to 49-yr. age group; the onset of use was reported as most common for the 16- to 19-yr.-olds. Prevalence of risky drinking was 6.8% (106 persons). Men were more likely to have an earlier initiation to alcohol use, to consume more [5.2 standard drinks (SD 3.4) vs 3.6 standard drinks (SD=2.5)] and be problem drinkers (31.5% vs 15.2%) than women. Prevalence of alcohol use seems to be relatively low in Istanbul. Data on characteristics of alcohol use are important in estimating groups at risk for problems and in planning prevention strategies.