A multicenter antimicrobial surveillance program was established in Turkey in 1995 to monitor the predominant Gram-negative pathogens from intensive care units (ICUs) and antimicrobial resistance patterns of these isolates. Sixteen hospitals participated in the study and a total of 1479 isolates from 1100 patients were collected. The isolates were tested for their susceptibility against 13 antibiotics by E-test method. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for each isolate were determined for imipenem, ceftazidime, ceftazidime-clavulanate, cefoperazone-sulbactam, ceftriaxone, cefepime, cefuroxime, piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, gentamicin, amikacin and ciprofloxacin. The most common isolates were Pseudomonas spp. (28.2%), Escherichia coli (19.2%) and Klebsiella spp. (19.1%). We found very high resistance rates to all major antibiotics that are used to treat serious infections. Although imipenem is the most active agent, it had an overall susceptibility rate of 68%. Half of the tested Klebsiella spp. strains were found to produce ESBL. This is a very high rate when compared with the literature. Cross-resistance among species was also investigated. 52% of ciprofloxacin-resistant strains were also resistant to imipenem, 80% to ceftazidime, 97% to ceftriaxone, 86% to amikacin and 19% of imipenem-resistant strains were susceptible to ceftazidime and 18% to amikacin. When susceptibilities of the years 1995 and 1999 were compared, the most interesting finding was the decrease in resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins. In conclusion, this national clinical isolate database shows that resistance rates are high, the change over years is not predictable and continuous surveillance is necessary to monitor antimicrobial resistance and to guide antibacterial therapy.