There is a strong policy discourse at local and national level in Turkey that ascribes considerable economic benefits to new construction activity. Critics, however, argue that this policy discourse has led to a mismatch between public policy and market fundamentals in many cities. It has been suggested that policy intentions might be driving construction levels above demand levels and could be contributing to uneven spatial development between regions. This paper seeks to shed light on this argument by systematically exploring the relationship between planning policy and development activity in 81 Turkish cities. The analytical framework draws on research undertaken by Bramley and Leishman (2005) and Henneberry et al (2005) on the relationship between public policy and market outcomes and has been adapted to take account of the institutional arrangements and policy instruments operating in Turkey. Drawing on data on economic activity, local social indicators, planning permissions and applications, and demographic change, the paper develops a cross-sectional econometric model that helps isolate the effects of planning policy from other drivers of construction activity. The second stage analysis uses to GIS methods and spatial statistics to develop an understanding of spatial variations in the drivers of development activity. The paper offers some tentative conclusions about the relationship between policy imperatives, market fundamentals and development activity.