We present a system for large vocabulary recognition of online Turkish handwriting, using hidden Markov models. While using a traditional approach for the recognizer, we have identified and developed solutions for the main problems specific to Turkish handwriting recognition. First, since large amounts of Turkish handwriting samples are not available, the system is trained and optimized using the large UNIPEN dataset of English handwriting, before extending it to Turkish using a small Turkish dataset. The delayed strokes, which pose a significant source of variation in writing order due to the large number of diacritical marks in Turkish, are removed during preprocessing. Finally, as a solution to the high out-of-vocabulary rates encountered when using a fixed size lexicon in general purpose recognition, a lexicon is constructed from sublexical units (stems and endings) learned from a large Turkish corpus. A statistical bigram language model learned from the same corpus is also applied during the decoding process.