BACKGROUND: Mutations of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) can cause congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) as a primarily genital form of cystic fibrosis. The spectrum and frequency of CFTR mutations in Turkish males with CBAVD is largely unknown. METHODS: We investigated 51 Turkish males who had been diagnosed with CBAVD at the Hacettepe University, Ankara, for the presence of CFTR gene mutations by direct sequencing of the coding region and exon/intron boundaries. RESULTS: We identified 27 different mutations on 72.5% of the investigated alleles. Two-thirds of the patients harboured CFTR gene mutations on both chromosomes. Two predominant mutations, IVS8-5T and D1152H, accounted for more than one-third of the alleles. Five mutations are described for the first time. With one exception, all identified patients harboured at least one mutation of the missense or splicing type. Presently available mutation panels would have uncovered only 7-12% of CFTR alleles in this population cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Although cystic fibrosis is relatively rare in Turkey, CFTR mutations are responsible for the majority of CBAVD in Turkish males. Because of a specific mutation profile, a population-specific panel should be recommended for targeted populations such as CBAVD in Turkey or elsewhere.