Alexithymia is thought to be a stable personality trait and a predisposing risk factor for depression. In this study, we aimed to identify the prevalence of alexithymia in a depressed and nondepressed sample and examined the relationship between Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality with alexithymia. The Turkish version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Turkish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory, and the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered to 81 depressed patients and 51 controls. The mean age of the groups was 30.5 +/- 7.7 and 32.75 +/- 8.73, respectively. Depression severity was evaluated with the BDI. In the depressed group, 33.3% were alexithymic, and alexithymic subjects had significantly higher BDI scores. Depressed individuals were significantly more alexithymic than the controls on the total and all the 3 subscales of TAS-20. The TAS-20 total score was negatively correlated with the temperament dimension of Reward Dependence (RD) and the character dimension of Self-Directedness (SD). In the TAS-20 subscale, difficulties in identifying feelings was positively correlated with Self-Transcendence and negatively correlated with SD. The difficulties in expressing feelings subscale was negatively correlated with RD and SD. In the depressed patient group, the temperament dimension of RD was significantly lower in the alexithymic group. The rate of alexithymia is found high among this sample of Turkish depressed patients, and the results suggested a strong connection between alexithymia and depression. Alexithymia is explained by specific dimensions and subscale within Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality in this sample of depressed Turkish patients.