Effect of breed on carcass measurements and meat quality characteristics were investigated by using 46 lambs from Turkish Merino, Ramlic, Kivircik, Chios and Imroz breeds. Chios and Imroz carcasses had smaller Values for carcass quality characteristics. Breed had no significant effect on pH at 45 min and 24 h post-mortem, water holding capacity and cooking loss. Kivircik and Imroz lambs had lower Warner Bratzler shear force Values than those of Ramlic and Turkish Merino lambs (P < 0.01). Meat samples from Kivircik lambs had the highest redness value. Differences among breeds for sensory characteristics, except tenderness were not significant. Tenderness scores given to meat samples of Kivircik lambs were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those of Turkish Merino, Ramlic and Imroz lambs. Indigenous Kivircik breed, which had high carcass quality as those of improved breeds, might be considered for production of better quality meat in Marmara Region of Turkey. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.