Seeds from three provenances of Pinus brutia were stratified for 0 or 45 d (days) at 4 +/- 1 degrees C and then germinated at 15 degrees C or 20 degrees C on filter paper saturated with polyethylene glycol solutions to provide water potentials of 0, -0.2 and -0.4 MPa (mega Pascal). Regardless of stratification, germination was lower at 15 degrees C than 20 degrees C for seeds of all provenances. Stratification significantly increased germination percentage at all water potentials regardless of the germination temperatures. Lowering the water potential to -0.4 MPa reduced germination for all three provenances in unstratified and stratified seeds when averaged for two temperatures, but reaction to the increased water stress was different among the provenances. Combined over two temperatures, stratified or unstratified seeds from the highest elevation (Cehennemdere) had the lowest germination performance at all water potentials, and stratified and nonstratified seeds from a coastal elevation (Sililke) had the highest germination parameters at the lowest water potential (-0.4 MPa). It might be concluded that seed germination and resistance to water stress vary according to provenance and stratification.