Istanbul University

Istanbul University
Istanbul University
İstanbul Üniversitesi
Istanbul Universitesi Renkli Logo.png
Motto "Leadership in Higher Education for Centuries"
Established 30 May 1453
As university; 1874 and 1933[1]
Type Public University
Rector Prof. Dr. Yunus Söylet
Admin. staff 6,000
Undergraduates 76,000
Postgraduates 12,000
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Campus Beyazıt, Vezneciler, Avcılar
Bahçeköy, Çapa, Cerrahpaşa, Kadıköy
Founder Fatih Sultan Mehmed (1453)
Abdülmecid I (1846)
Abdülaziz I (1870)
Abdülhamid II (1900)
Mehmed Reşat (1912)
M. Kemal Atatürk (1933)


Affiliations Coimbra Group

Istanbul University (Turkish: İstanbul Üniversitesi) is a Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square.




A madrasa, a religious school, was established sometime in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.[1] An institution of higher education named the Darülfünun-i Osmani ('House of Sciences') was created in 1863, but suppressed in 1871.[1] In 1874 the Imperial University (Darülfünun-i Sultani) started to give lectures in law in French, but was closed in 1881.[1]

The Imperial University, now known as Darülfünun-i Shahane was refounded in 1900, with the departments of theology, arts, mathematics, science and philology.[1] In 1924, the faculties of law, medicine, arts and sciences were established in Istanbul University (Istanbul Darülfünunu), as the university was now called.[1] Islamic theology was added in 1925, but in 1933 the university was reorganized without the latter.[1]

Expanded account

The first modern Applied Physics courses were given at the Darülfünûn on 31 December 1863, which marked the beginning of a new period, and on 20 February 1870, the school was renamed as the Darülfünûn-u Osmanî ('Ottoman House of Multiple Sciences') and reorganized to meet the needs of modern sciences and technologies. Starting from 1874, some classes of Literature, Law and Applied Sciences were given at the building of Galatasaray High School, which continued regularly until 1881. On 1 September 1900, the school was renamed and reorganized as the Darülfünûn-u Şahane ('Imperial House of Multiple Sciences') with courses on Mathematics, Literature and Theology. On 20 April 1912, the school was renamed as the İstanbul Darülfünûnu ('Istanbul House of Multiple Sciences') while the number of courses were increased and the curricula were modernized with the establishment of the Schools of Medicine, Law, Applied Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics), Literature and Theology.

On 21 April 1924, the Republic of Turkey recognized the Istanbul Darülfünûnu as a state school, and on 7 October 1925, the administrative autonomy of Istanbul Darülfünûnu was recognized while the "Schools" (within the old Medrese system) became modern "Faculties". On 1 August 1933, Istanbul Darülfünûnu was reorganized as Istanbul University (İstanbul Üniversitesi) following the educational reforms of Atatürk. Classes officially began on 1 November 1933.


The university has seventeen faculties on five campuses, the main campus being on Beyazıt Square in Istanbul, which was known as the Forum Tauri in the Roman period. It has a teaching staff of 2,000 professors and associates and 4,000 assistants and younger staff. More than 60,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students follow the courses offered by Istanbul University every year. The main campus with its landmark gate used to be the Ottoman ministry of war. Located on the grounds is the Beyazıt Tower, a 85 m (279 ft) tall fire-watch tower. The grounds before that was the location of the Eski Palace (Old Palace). Some Roman and Byzantine ruins are still visible on the grounds.

The main gate was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 500 lira banknotes of 1971-1984.[2]


Main entrance gate on Beyazit Square with Beyazıt Tower in the background
Main building with statue of Atatürk
Main building interior
Byzantine remains near Beyazıt Tower
Reverse of the 500 lira banknote (1971-1984)


In 2010, the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Istanbul University as the 401-500th best university worldwide, the only Turkish institution on the list.[3]

In 2010, University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) ranked Istanbul University 415th in the world and second university in Turkey.[4]

Notable alumni

Turkish Presidents
Foreign Presidents
Turkish Prime Ministers
Foreign Prime Ministers
Turkish Ministers
  • Uğur Dündar

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rüegg, Walter: "European Universities and Similar Institutions in Existence between 1812 and the End of 1944: A Chronological List", in: Rüegg, Walter (ed.): A History of the University in Europe. Vol. 3: Universities in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (1800–1945), Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-521-36107-1, p. 687
  2. ^ Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Banknote Museum: 6. Emission Group - Five Hundred Turkish Lira - I. Series & II. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "URAP - University Ranking by Academic Performance". 
  5. ^ "Turkish journalist İlhan Selçuk died". National Turk. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 

Media related to Istanbul University at Wikimedia Commons

External links

Coordinates: 41°00′46.93″N 28°57′49.95″E / 41.0130361°N 28.963875°E / 41.0130361; 28.963875

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