The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of legislation in national parks protection and management in Turkey. As an introduction a brief summary of the development and legal basis of national parks are given. The national park system as a nature conservation method is introduced, as well as the development of national park system in Turkey is summarized. The legal basis, institutional structure and management of national parks are discussed. Also a case study including Nemrut Dagi National Park, Uludag National Park, and Kaz Daglari (Ida Mountain) National Park, is presented with respect to nature protection and economic development dilemma. The outcomes of the case study was analysed. Then, a series of conclusions are reached and some recommendations relevant to protection-economic development trade off are made.