This paper aims to test the existence of the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis using SO2 measurements in Turkish provinces between 2004 and 2019. The existing studies concerning the EKC hypothesis for Turkey either use a country-level analysis or panel data techniques covering provincial data that do not account for the spatial dimension. To account for the spatial dependence and overcome the biases resulting from the existence of such spatial spillovers, this paper combines the traditional panel data methodology with the recent advances in spatial econometrics. Our findings confirm the presence of a non-linear link between regional economic prospects and environmental degradation. However, unlike the core expectations of the EKC hypothesis, our results demonstrate a U-shaped relationship between economic development and SO2 levels. Moreover, these findings are robust to the inclusion of a spatial battery which highlights the existence of regional spillovers. Overall, our results show that the post-2000 epoch calls for a different action plan to mitigate the rising impact of environmental degradation in Turkey.