Pharmaceutical legislation plays a key role in providing regulatory norms for the practice of pharmacy. Knowing the historical background of legislation also promotes a better understanding of the interrelationship between pharmacy-related issues of the past and the present. This study aims to examine the historical evolution of Turkish pharmaceutical legislation from 1852 to the present. Pharmaceutical laws, regulations, and directives enacted in the Ottoman and the Republican periods were analysed from several different aspects (i.e., qualifications of pharmacists, requirements for setting up a pharmacy, and national pharmacopoeia). The first pharmaceutical regulation in Turkey, "Regulation of civil pharmacy in the Ottoman domains," (1852) stipulated for the first time that a pharmacy had to be operated by a diploma holder-pharmacist, and the quality and safety of the medicines prepared in a pharmacy were primarily under the pharmacist's responsibility. Despite a great number of pharmaceutical regulations enacted in the 19th century, it was after the proclamation of the Republican regime in 1923 that Turkey observed a sustainable development in its pharmaceutical legislation.