The epidemiological features of occult papillary thyroid carcinoma (OPTC) at autopsy have not previously been reported in Turkish people. This study provides data on the prevalence of OPTC in people from the Marmara region in Turkey. The study includes thyroid glands from 93 male and 15 female cadavers between 18 and 80 years of age. The thyroid glands were removed, fixed and sectioned at 2-mm intervals. The sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and were examined by a single pathologist. A total of 108 thyroid glands were examined. Macroscopic lesions were found in 36 (33.3%) glands (95% confidence interval = 24-42). OPTC was found in four (3.7%) cases (95% confidence interval = 1.0-7.5). It was concluded that in the Turkish people from the Marmara region, the prevalence of OPTC found at autopsy was relatively low. No age or sex predilection was detected. European Journal of Cancer Prevention 20:308-312 (C) 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.