Microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (MP-AES) was used to determine calcium, magnesium and potassium in various Turkish cheese samples. Cheese samples were dried at 100 degrees C for 2 days and then digested in a mixture of nitric acid/hydrogen peroxide (3:1). Good linearities (R-2 > 0.999) were obtained up to 10 mu g mL(-1) of Ca, Mg and K at 445.478 nm, 285.213 nm and 766.491 nm, respectively. The analytes in a certified reference milk powder sample were determined within the uncertainty limits. Moreover, the analytes added to the cheese samples were recovered quantitatively (>90%). All determinations were performed using aqueous standards for calibration. The LOD values for Ca, Mg and K were 0.036 mu g mL(-1), 0.012 mu g mL(-1) and 0.190 mu g mL(-1), respectively. Concentrations of Ca, K and Mg in various types of cheese samples produced in different regions of Turkey were found between 1.03-3.70, 0.242-0.784 and 0.081-0.303 g kg(-1), respectively. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.