Objective: To determine the proportion of adolescent births in Van, Turkey, and to identify characteristics and related outcomes. Methods: Mothers who gave birth at three maternity centers in Van, Turkey, were chosen randomly and were invited to complete a face-to-face questionnaire. Participants were asked for demographic information and pregnancy history. Pregnancy outcomes were obtained from the birth records. Results: Of 1872 mothers who completed the questionnaires, 211 (11.3%) were younger than 19 years. Adolescent mothers showed significantly more inappropriate education for age (82.5% vs 70.1; P<0.001) and were married to less educated partners (76.3% vs 59.4%; P<0.001) following unofficial matrimonies (25.6% vs 10.7%; P<0.001) than older mothers. There were no differences between the age groups in rates of arranged marriages with relatives, income, and household structure. Adolescent mothers reported higher rates of intimate partner violence (17.1% vs 10.8%; P=0.008) and inadequate prenatal care use (28.4% vs 17.6%; P<0.001) compared with older mothers. Adolescent births were associated with an increased risk for preterm delivery (P<0.001) and low birth weight (P<0.001). Conclusions: Cultural factors rather than economic factors seem to be related to early age at marriage and adolescent childbearing, which are associated with poor birth outcomes. (C) 2010 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.