This study was implemented to investigate the species composition, abundance, seasonal variations and diversity of epipelic algae, to determine environmental variables affecting them and to reveal the accumulation of total organic carbon in the sediment in the coastal zone of the Istanbul Strait, Turkey. Epipelic algal community consisted of 44 taxa with a low diversity. The sediment structure which is highly unstable due to the high hydrodynamism of the zone played a dominant role as the main factor in the epipelic algal flora along the coasts of Istanbul Strait. Low TOC and high carbonate values also support this result. The dominance of cyanobacteria in some periods and, as a result of this, the record of the lowest diversity index values indicated the effect of nutrient enrichment and the risk of coastal eutrophication. High dominance of cyanobacteria may also be explicated by climate changes considering its effect in the other areas. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.