This study aims to determine trends in the long-term annual mean and monthly total precipitation series using non-parametric methods (i.e. the Mann–Kendall and Sen's T tests). The change per unit time in a time series having a linear trend was estimated by applying a simple non-parametric procedure, namely Sen's estimator of slope. Serial correlation structure in the data was accounted for determining the significance level of the results of the Mann–Kendall test. The data network used in this study, which is assumed to reflect regional hydroclimatic conditions, consists of 96 precipitation stations across Turkey. Monthly totals and annual means of the monthly totals are formed for each individual station, spanning from 1929 to 1993. In this case, a total of 13 precipitation variables at each station are subjected to trend detection analysis. In addition, regional average precipitation series are established for the same analysis purpose. The application of a trend detection framework resulted in the identification of some significant trends, especially in January, February, and September precipitations and in the annual means. A noticeable decrease in the annual mean precipitation was observed mostly in western and southern Turkey, as well as along the coasts of the Black Sea. Regional average series also displayed trends similar to those for individual stations. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.