The aim of this study was to compare auramin-rhodamine (A-R) and Erlich-Ziehl-Neelsen (EZN) staining techniques for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Of 311 sputum samples collected from active pulmonary tuberculosis patients and tuberculosis-suspected patients, 103 (33%) were found culture positive. In the direct microscopic examination of EZN stained smears, 86.4% (89/103) of culture positive samples, and 3.8% (8/208) of culture negative samples yielded asido-resistant bacteria, while these rates were 74.8% (77/103) and 11.5% (24/208) for A-R staining method. When culture was accepted as reference method, the specificity and sensitivity of the staining techniques were found as 88.5% and 74.8% for A-R, and 96.2% and 86.4% for EZN, respectively. As a result, it was concluded that, the use of A-R staining alone, could not be an alternative method to EZN staining.