Drought is one of the most damaging abiotic stress factors commonly experienced by plants, resulting in a significant loss of crop yield worldwide. The aim of the study was to assess drought tolerance of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) hybrids and find out potentially underlying photobiological traits. Experiment was conducted in the agricultural field of Eastern Mediterranean Agricultural Research Institute in Adana. To evaluate the drought tolerance of twenty-six sunflower hybrids polyphasic chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were performed at the three growth stages named as vegetative, head formation and milky seed (stress 1, S1; stress 2, S2; stress 3, S3, respectively). The hybrids were classified from drought tolerant to drought sensitive based on their drought factor index (DFI) values calculated from photosynthetic performance index. 9444 A X 9947 R and 9444 A X 8129 R were determined as the most tolerant hybrids, whereas 2453 A X 8129 R and 7751 A X TT 135 R were determined as the most sensitive hybrids. Severe drought stress (S2) inhibited severely both the donor and the acceptor sides of photosystem II in sensitive hybrids. Photosynthetic structures of drought-tolerant hybrids were less damaged by drought stress, consequently these hybrids could maintain their photosynthetic performances (minor changes in phi(Po), psi(o), delta(Ro), specific and/or phenomenological energy fluxes) approximately control levels under severe drought condition. As a result, results, 9444 A X 9947 R and 9444 A X 8129 R hybrids could be recommended to be used in the breeding programs and further studies as genetic material and to be grown in drought-prone areas.