Michael O'Neill, managing his first game since renewing his contract with the British outfit, watched on as his team went down to Melvut Erdinc's goal on the stroke of half time, which proved enough for the hosts.
The hosts could have gone ahead as early as the fifth minute, with Adem Buyuk seeing his bid to open the scoring rebuffed by the frame of the goal, after Steven Davis had initially cleared off the line.
Fatih Terim's men began to ask questions of their Northern Irish counterparts, with former Arsenal youth Oguzhan Ozayakup in particular proving problematic O'Neill's men.
Bilal Kisa fired narrowly wide moments before half time, before Melvut ensured the Turks record a slender lead at the interval, nipping in ahead of goalkeeper Roy Carroll to poke home the opener and net his fifth international goal.
It could have been two shortly after the break, with Melvut once more proving a threat, flicking Burak Yilmaz's low cross against the post.
The visitors soon spurned a rare opportunity to restore parity, with Davis's goal-bound volley being blocked by teammate Martin Paterson.
It would prove to be their last chance to bag an equaliser as Terim's charges held on for the victory.