We aimed to compare ratios of thyroid cancers diagnosed in our regional reference hospital Pathology Center in Sanliurfa city located in southeast Anatolia, and evaluate the characteristics related with follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC). We re-evaluated the specimens of last 5 years thyroidectomies by same five pathologists, by same criteria and immunohistochemical evaluation. Chi-square test was used to compare characteristics of classical pure papillary thyroid carcinomas and FVPTC groups. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the factors related with presence of FVPTC. Among 400 thyroidectomies, there were 105 papillary thyroid carcinoma, 42 of them with pure PTC, and 56 with FVPC, also seven with other variants. There was increase in ratios of FVPTC/PTC between 2010 and 2011 (68.4 vs 76.7 %, p < 0.005). Radius, vascular invasion, and extrathyroidal invasion showed statistically significant difference between pure PTC and FVPTC. In regression analysis radius (p = 0.001, OR = 2.611; 95 %CI, 2.010–3.391), age (p = 0.018, OR = 0.959; 95 %CI, 0.927–0.993), and multicentricity (p = 0.044, OR = 0.403; 95 %CI, 0.167–0.975) were related with presence of FVPTC. Besides, further need for studies to understand whether total prevalence of FVPTC is higher in this region, and the related factors, our study showed that the ratio of FVPTC/PTC is higher in our reference hospital. Age of the patients and the radius and multicentricity of the nodules could be alarming factors for us to suspect for FVPTC.