© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.This paper uncovers the link between economic development and environmental degradation in Turkey by employing two distinct methods. We test the so-called EKC hypothesis for four various outcomes, including carbon dioxide emissions, wastewater, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter by implementing time-series and panel data models. Fully modified ordinary least squares provide an N-shaped linkage between environmental degradation, such as carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth between 1961 and 2014. The random- and fixed-effects models indicate that there exists an N-shaped connection between wastewater and particulate matter quality indicators and economic growth spanning 1992 and 2013. However, we find inverted N-shaped relationship between SO2 and economic growth over the same period. Our findings urge policymakers in Turkey to take precautions by implementing national policies to fight against pollution to increase environmental quality.