Istanbul University

Istanbul University (Turkish: İstanbul Üniversitesi) was founded as an institution of higher education named the Darülfünun (House of Multiple Sciences) on July 23, 1846; but the Medrese (Theological School) which was founded immediately after Mehmed II conquered (Istanbul) in 1453 is regarded as the precursor to the Darülfünun which evolved into Istanbul University.
Motto: "Leadership in Higher Education for Centuries" 
Established 1453 
Type: State university 
Rector: Prof. Dr. Mesut Parlak 
Staff: 6,000 
Undergraduates: 60,000 
Postgraduates: 8,000 
Location: Eminönü, Istanbul, Turkey 
Campus: Beyazýt, Vezneciler, Avcýlar
Çapa, Cerrahpaþa, Kadýköy 
Founder: Sultan Mehmed II (1453)
Sultan Abdülmecid I (1846)
Sultan Abdülaziz I (1870)
Sultan Abdülhamid II (1900)
Sultan Mehmed V (1912)
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1933) 

German historian Richard Honig believes that the history of the Medrese which first evolved into the Darülfünun and later became Istanbul University actually started on March 1, 1321, during the reign of Osman I in Bithynia, the cradle of the Ottoman State.[2]

The first modern Applied Physics courses were given at the Darülfünun on December 31, 1863, which marked the beginning of a new period, and on February 20, 1870, the school was renamed as the Darülfünun-u Osmani (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 Lisesi, which continued regularly until 1881. On September 1, 1900, the school was renamed and reorganized as the Darülfünun-u Þahane (Imperial House of Multiple Sciences) with courses on Mathematics, Literature and Theology. On April 20, 1912, the school was renamed as the Ýstanbul Darülfünunu (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 April 21, 1924, the Republic of Turkey recognized the Ýstanbul Darülfünunu as a state school, and on October 7, 1925, the administrative autonomy of Ýstanbul Darülfünunu was recognized while the "Schools" (within the old Medrese system) became modern "Faculties". On August 1, 1933, Ýstanbul Darülfünunu was reorganized as Ýstanbul Üniversitesi (Istanbul University) following the educational reforms of Atatürk. Classes officially began on November 1, 1933, in "the first modern university" of the Republic of Turkey.

The university currently has seventeen faculties on five campuses, the main campus being on Beyazýt 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.

Its graduates have frequently been the main source of academic staff for the Turkish university system, as well as providing a very large number of Turkish bureaucrats, professionals, and business people.


  • Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Journalism
  • Faculty of Literature and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Istanbul Faculty of Medicine
  • Cerrahpaþa Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Hasan Ali Yücel Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Forestry
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Veterinary Sciences
  • Faculty of Business Administration
  • Faculty of Communication
  • Faculty of Water Products
  • Faculty of Theology

Notable alumni

Turkish Presidents
Foreign Presidents
Turkish Prime Ministers
Foreign Prime Ministers
Turkish Ministers