An unusually large number of minarets, which are slender tower structures, collapsed during the 1999 Kocaeli and Duzce, Turkey earthquakes with resulting damage to surrounding buildings and loss of life. The potential effects of the subsequently observed poor reinforcement detailing on the dynamic response is discussed. The probable cause of the extensive damage to reinforced concrete minarets is investigated by studying the observed failure modes and their seismic performance, and through the dynamic analysis of a representative minaret. The effects of spiral stairs, door openings, and balconies on the dynamic behavior are examined. The maximum dynamic internal force demands were compared with the calculated capacities. The locations of the maximum axial, shear, and flexural demands predicted from the finite element analysis of the minaret model were consistent with the earthquake damage observed at those critical locations. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.