Although sunshine duration (SD) is one of the most frequently measured meteorological parameters, there is a lack of measurements in some parts of the world. Hence, it should be estimated accurately for areas where no reliable measurement is possible. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of support vector machine (SVM) approach for estimating daily SD. For this purpose, three different kernels of SVM, such as linear, polynomial, and radial basis function (RBF), were used. Different combinations of five related meteorological parameters, namely cloud cover, maximum temperature (T-max), minimum temperature (T-min), relative humidity (RH), and wind speed (WS), and one astronomic parameter, day length, were considered as the inputs of the models, and the output was obtained as daily SD. Simulated values of the models were compared with ground measured values, and concluded that the usage of the SVM-RBF estimator with combination of all input attributes produced the best results. The coefficient of determination, root mean square error, and mean absolute error were found to be 0.8435, 1.5105 h, and 1.0771 h, respectively, for the pooled four-year daily data set of 14 stations in Turkey. It was also deduced that accuracy increased as the number of attributes increased and the major contribution to this came from RH as compared with Tmax, Tmin, and WS. This study has shown that the SVM methodology can be a good alternative for conventional and artificial neural network methods for estimating daily SD.