The objective of this study was to determine whether cases of malaria are related to terrorist activities that have occurred in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Turkey. Some of the determinants related to malaria have been investigated using a national dataset for 11 provinces located in these regions of Turkey. In these regions, both terrorist activity and cases of malaria were common from 1984 to 1998. A multiple regression technique was used to identify the variables that are significantly associated with cases of malaria. Annual incidence of malaria was chosen as the dependent variable along with three independent (explanatory) variables: annual number of terrorist incidences, people per healthcare technician and number of thick blood films per 100 000 people. Based on this analysis, it is determined that the annual number of terrorist incidences has been associated with the annual number of malaria cases in these regions of Turkey since the beginning of terrorist activity in 1984. (c) 2007 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.