© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.In Turkey, the empirical results on the link between financial development and economic growth are mixed. The existing studies do not take into account the fact that Turkey has experienced endemic political and economic instabilities over extended periods. This study aims to analyse the role of macroeconomic instability and public borrowing on the finance–growth nexus in Turkey by using time series econometric techniques over the 1980–2010 period. In doing so, we attempt to extend the existing literature by taking into account the role of macroeconomic instability as well as public borrowing. Our results reveal that there are additional–albeit indirect–channels between finance and growth via the effects of macro instability and public borrowing on financial development and economic growth. After taking into account the effects of overall instability and public borrowing, we found that growth–financial development relationship is bidirectional and permanent. In other words, in Turkish case, economic growth and financial development are jointly determined. Thus, our results shed some light on the ambiguity of the evidence on the link between financial development and economic growth for Turkey.