We aimed to provide data on the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) in this largest case series ever reported. The Haydarpasa-1 study involved patients with microbiologically confirmed TBM in Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Syria and Turkey between 2000 and 2012. A positive culture, PCR or Ehrlich-Ziehl-Neelsen staining (EZNs) from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was mandatory for inclusion of meningitis patients. A total of 506 TBM patients were included. The sensitivities of the tests were as follows: interferon- release assay (Quantiferon TB gold in tube) 90.2%, automated culture systems (ACS) 81.8%, Lowenstein Jensen medium (L-J) 72.7%, adenosine deaminase (ADA) 29.9% and EZNs 27.3%. CSF-ACS was superior to CSF L-J culture and CSF-PCR (p<0.05 for both). Accordingly, CSF L-J culture was superior to CSF-PCR (p<0.05). Combination of L-J and ACS was superior to using these tests alone (p<0.05). There were poor and inverse agreements between EZNs and L-J culture (=-0.189); ACS and L-J culture (=-0.172) (p<0.05 for both). Fair and inverse agreement was detected for CSF-ADA and CSF-PCR (=-0.299, p<0.05). Diagnostic accuracy of TBM was increased when both ACS and L-J cultures were used together. Non-culture tests contributed to TBM diagnosis to a degree. However, due to the delays in the diagnosis with any of the cultures, combined use of non-culture tests appears to contribute early diagnosis. Hence, the diagnostic approach to TBM should be individualized according to the technical capacities of medical institutions particularly in those with poor resources.