Rate and amount of carbon (C) storage in peatlands play a vital role in global biogeochemical cycles despite their globally small spatial extent. Carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions from drained peatlands is a function of drainage intensity and extent of peatlands, peat thickness, land use and land cover (LULC) type to which peatlands are converted, and management practices. Historical LULC change-detection of Yenicaga peatlands and wet flats yielded an estimated conservative decrease in C pool from 2.43 +/- 0.15 million metric tons (Mt) in 1944 to 0.65 +/- 0.04 Mt in 2009 due mostly to drainage by agricultural and afforestation activities. Drainage-induced C emission rate was estimated to range from 12.5 to 32.5 t C ha(-1) yr(-1). Our extrapolation of the C emission rate to the entire peatland area of 240 km(2) in Turkey resulted in CO(2) emissions of 0.30-0.78 Mt in 2009, equivalent to 0.01%-0.02% of the global LULC-related CO(2) emissions of 3230 Mt in 2009. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.