This paper aims to provide a comparison of the Turkish elderly residing at high- or low-quality institutions in terms of institutional and life satisfaction, attitudes toward institutional living, feelings of control, nature of relocation, importance attributed to different aspects of institutions, and preferences for different living conditions. In-depth interviews were carried out with 106 Turkish males and females (62-89 years) divided equally between high- and low-quality institutions from Istanbul. Compared to those from low-quality institutions, respondents from high-quality institutions reported feeling more satisfied with their lives and institutional living, having more personal control, having moved to the institution more voluntarily, and were more likely to prefer their current living environments and to attribute importance to facilities, services, physical surroundings and leisure time activities. In spite of such differences in assessments of current living environments, those residing at high-quality institutions did not seem to have significantly more positive attitudes toward institutional living in general, although there was a trend in that direction. In terms of gender differences, females reported more life satisfaction, more positive attitudes toward institutional living, more voluntary relocation, and were more likely to prefer their current living places and to attribute importance to people. Present results from the collectivistic Turkish context are discussed in reference to related findings from the more individualistic societies, as well as those concerning the community-residing elderly. (C) 1999 Academic Press.