Roberto Mancini’s side dominated the first half and thought they had taken the lead with a top corner header from Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini which was palmed over the bar by Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.
The Italians were playing as the away side in their home country, and were denied several penalty claims for handball in the box as Ciro Immobile and, particularly Lorenzo Insigne, tested the Turkish backline without breaking the deadlock.
Such was their dominance goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was not called into action until after the half-hour mark.
However Turkey could not keep Mancini’s side out for long. A low cross from Domenico Berardi in the second half was chested over the line by defender Merih Demiral for an own goal opener that their first half pressure had merited.
It took the wind out of Turkish sails and shortly after the hour Immobile made it 2-0 on his club’s home ground before the Lazio striker laid on for Insigne to stroke home a third.
Tired Turkey rarely looked like troubling Donnarumma but eventually Lille striker Burak Yilmaz presented a half-hearted test in injury time as Italy opened the tournament with a convincing victory.
The month-long festival of football opening ceremony had begun with tenor Andrea Boccelli and a stirring rendition of Nessun Dorma in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. The championships will end on July 11 with the final at Wembley Stadium in London.
Scotland kick off their campaign at Hampden on Monday against the Czech Republic.