Defending champion Justin Rose leads the Turkish Open by two strokes on a disappointing afternoon for the Irish trio. 

Rose carded a second consecutive 65 for a halfway total of 12 under par and will return to world number one with victory at Regnum Carya Golf Resort on Sunday.

"I can't afford to stand still," said Rose, who admitted he was fortunate to escape with a bogey on the 10th after pulling his tee shot into the water. "We've got to keep moving forward. I played catch-up to win last year and there are plenty of guys who are capable of doing the same thing."

Close behind Rose is his compatriot, Danny Willett who carded a second round of 65 and is targeting a first victory since his famous win at Augusta in 2016. 

After the blistering form of Thursday, it was a frustrating afternoon for the Irish contingent with Dunne, Harrington and Lowry all failing to make headway and losing ground to the field. 

Overnight leader Paul Dunne remains rooted where he was on seven under par for the tournament while most in his vicinity shot low-ish numbers. 

In an uneven round, Dunne carded both a double bogey and an eagle, along with three birdies and three bogeys. 

He reacted well to his double bogey on 10 with an eagle-3 on 12 before another birdie on the 14th took him to nine under par. 

However, he finished poorly with bogeys on 16 and 18. He offered an apology for uttering an expletive when struggling on the former.

Harrington registered just eight pars in his marginally better round, finishing up with a one under par 70 for the afternoon and tied with Dunne in 11th spot. 

An eagle on the 15th was the Dubliner's best moment but, in keeping with his round generally, he followed that with bogey-birdie-bogey on the next three holes. 

Lowry, beginning lowest down of the Irish on three under par, began like a train and reached the turn on six under par. 

A further biride on the 12th pushed the Offaly golfer out to seven under par. However, his first bogey of the day immediately followed and then he carded an ugly double bogey 6 on the penultimate hole to finish his round on a depressing note.