Historical Universities in Istanbul

Being the knot that connects Europe with Asia, and the main capital of the three most powerful Empires in the world, Istanbul city has been an important center for many philosophers, and researches for thousands of years. The unique location of the city has made it a very important city for traders, this has lead in mixed cultures and information exchanging between foreigners and locals and so, the city became a very important source of information especially in Humanities sciences and people from different areas known now as France, Britain, Russia, Eastern Asia countries and Middle East countries tended to go there not only for trade, but also for education and research.


Year after year, the growing interest in education in Istanbul has lead to an establishment of many universities, high schools, and education centers that still until the present time operating and educating both local and international students.


Here is a list of historical and important universities in Istanbul:


Istanbul University:


Istanbul University was originally founded in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the second, he was fond of reading and learning and decided to open an educational institute to spread education in the city on a wider scale. At the beginning, Istanbul University was a school of philosophy, medicine, and law and letter and in the 19th century it served as both islamic school, and school of sciences until 1933 when the Turkish Republic was established, this institute has served as a university with the same departments and staff.


Through the past century, istanbul university has grown and added more departments, faculties, and campuses. Now, it has 22 faculties, 16 institutes, 61 research centers, and 12 campuses spread inside istanbul city but the main campus is located in the old city of Beyazit which is the original campus since 1453. This university has been a place for many important and famous people around the world, one of them is the 11th Turkish president Abdullah Gul.

The university offers 187 departments and has more than 5000 academic staff and 7000 administrative staff who are in charge of serving more than 85000 students.

It is one of the most amazing universities that you could ever imagine.

Galatasaray University:


Was officially named a university in 1992 but its roots go back to 1481 when it was founded by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazit the second. Back in 1481 it was an institute that educate different grades of government officials and was located in the Galata Palace.

At that time successful students were able to study in the “palace of Galata” and become an administrator in the government.

In 1838 the institute was converted to be a medical highschool which was the best medical highschool nest to Istanbul university. Later in 1874 more departments were added and the high school opened Faculty of Law, Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Literature. At the end, in 1992 the institute was given “galatasaray University” name following the agreement that was signed in the presence of French President Francois Mitterrand and Turkish President Turgut Ozal with the same structure but few more departments were added. Despite of that, the university is still considered to be a training institute more than a university and it has only 2500 students and 200 Academic staff. One of the best things about GalataSaray University is that it joins the students exchange program with 50 countries in europe every year, and almost 100 students of this university travel to Europe every year in this program.



Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University:


It was founded in 1882 as a school of fine arts by the famous Turkish painter and art historian “Osman Hamdi Bey”. at that time, it was the first fine arts school in Turkey and operated with only eight acadimc staff and 20 students. In 1928 the school became officially an academy and its name was changed to “state academy of fine arts” and in 1982 its name was changed again to be “Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University” after the great famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan who was able to build the blue mosque which was one of the architectural miracles at that time.

Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University now has 7 faculties and 3 institutes and offer departments to more than 14000 students and it is considered one of the most important universities in Fine Arts especially architecture.



Istanbul city also have more universities that have proven Istanbul’s importance in education and until modern days, thousands of international students from all over the world come to study in Istanbul.

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