This paper provides an overview of the water potential and hydropower energy status of Turkey, especially of multi-dam power projects, namely, the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) and the Coruh River Development Plan. The contribution of these projects to the hydropower energy potential is investigated. Turkey's annual total gross, technically feasible and economically feasible hydropower potentials calculated by General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works are 435, 215, and 128 TWh, respectively. As the beginning of 2013, there are 354 hydroelectric power plants in operation, 224 under construction and a further 1068 at various planning levels. The hydropower plants in operation have an installed capacity of 18,811 MW with an annual average generation of 67,077 GWh. Finally, it is found that the GAP Project corresponds 33.1 and 8.0% of the current total hydroelectric energy production and electricity production of Turkey, while these values are 7.58 and 1.73% in the Coruh River Development Plan, respectively. These projects are crucial for Turkish energy market and economy. For this reason, development studies and investments in the hydropower sector should be encouraged, supported and put into operation immediately. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.