The maedi-visna virus (MVV) is distributed worldwide and, to date, no epidemiological surveys have been carried out using ELISA testing in Turkey. The aims of this study were as follows: i) to verify the diagnostic performance of a home-made ELISA test (HM-ELISA) using Turkish ovine sera in comparison with other commercially available ELISA tests, and ii) to perform a preliminary epidemiological survey in Istanbul province. The MVV seroprevalence in Istanbul province was 15.3%. Older sheep were 5 times more likely to be positive than younger animals, ewes were 3 times more likely to be positive than rams, and all the Red Karaman and White Karaman sheep tested were seronegative. The performance of the HM-ELISA and that of the other commercial tests using Turkish ovine serum samples was similar; therefore, the HM-ELISA test is suitable for use in extensive epidemiological surveys and eradication programs in Turkey.