We investigated the phylogenetic relationships in Tulipa in Turkey using DNA sequences from the plastid trnL-trnF region and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA. We generated trnL-trnF and nuclear ITS sequences for 11 Tulipa spp. from Turkey and compared the utility of trnL-trnF and ITS sequences for phylogenetic analysis. Neighbor-joining, Bayesian and maximum parsimony methods were implemented using the same matrices. Our study of Tulipa based on molecular data revealed congruent results with previous studies. Despite the relatively lower resolution of trnL-trnF than that of ITS, both sequence matrices generated similar results. Three clades were clearly distinguished, corresponding to subgenera Tulipa, Eriostemones and Orithyia. It is not fully resolved whether Clusianae should be recognized as a separate section of subgenus Tulipa or a distinct subgenus. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2013, 172, 270–279.