A field study was carried out to investigate the effect of deficit irrigation applied in the different phenological periods of safflowers (Carthamus tinctorius L.) at the Central Anatolian region in Turkey between 2007 and 2009. A randomized split block design in fourteen subjects with three replications was used. According to the results, the highest yield was obtained from the issue when there was no water stress during the growing period. It was found that there was a decrease in yield from the subjects when periodic water deficit was applied at various rates. At the end of the research, the most effective periods for yield were determined as flowering, vegetation, and yield formation. The average seasonal water consumption was between 234 and 591 mm; the highest and the lowest grain yield was 5.10 t ha(-1) and 2.48 t ha(-1), respectively. Irrigation water usage efficiency (IWUE) ranged between 7.3 kg ha(-1) mm(-1) and 11 kg ha(-1) mm(-1). The amount of irrigation water applied had no effect on oil ratios ranging from 28.89% to 30.66%. The effect of irrigation water applied was observed only on stearic and linoleic fatty acids. The coefficient of determination (r(2)) of water-yield relationships during the experiment was obtained as 0.44, 0.71, and 0.68, respectively.