Ivan Rakitic had the first chance in the game for Croatia when he wrapped his foot around the ball from a tight angle in the second minute but the Turkish defence heaved a sigh of relief as it bobbled out of play.
The first half seemed to be heading for a draw until Real Madrid midfielder Modric produced an instinctive volley in the 41st minute into the bottom left corner. His first-time effort from about 24 metres was beyond the reach of Volkan Babacan.
Darijo Srna’s hit a promising freekick six minutes into the second half but the ball hit the crossbar and out with Babacan rooted to a spot.
Croatia almost went 2-0 up when Marcelo Brozovic missed a 67th minute rebound from an Ivan Perisic’s cross. His effort floated narrowly over the crossbar.
Perisic and Brozokiv’s headers also hit the bar with less than 15 minutes left in the game, the Turks on both occasions avoiding a second Croatia goal.
Perisic then produced a powerful first-time shot from close range, sending the ball to the middle of the target, but the Turkish goalkeeper stopped it with a smart save.