This paper examines the response to the 2006 avian influenza crisis in Turkey. Using complex adaptive systems as the theoretical framework, the paper discusses the extent to which the Turkish disaster management system showed self-adaptation during the crisis. Self-adaptation requires organizational flexibility that facilitates sufficient information flow through technical and cultural infrastructures. This study uses qualitative methods to analyze the data. The research findings indicate that during the crisis, Turkish disaster management was faced with critical difficulties related to organizational, technical and cultural capacities that undermined its capacity to adapt to changing conditions. The system was able to manage these difficulties in seven to ten days; however, Turkey's contemporary disaster response services still require a transformation to effectively respond to any influenza pandemic.