University – History – General Information
A distinctive past of more than 500 years in education and training: Galatasaray
The university now known as Galatasaray University was first established in 1481 by Sultan Beyazit II and was called the Galata Palace (‘Galata Saray’) as an “Enderun-u Hümayunu” (Galata Palace Imperial School). The institution started its education in the same premises of the present Galatasaray Lycée. The mission of Galata Palace, in those days, was to train promising students as civil servants for various ranks in the State administration. The word ‘Palace’, in the name ‘Galata Palace’, serving as an educational institution appropriate to the requirements of that age, refers to the administration center for Civil Service and a high-ranking “Enderun-u Hümayunu.” Galata Saray is the only educational institution maintaining its reputation, traditional body and functions from that period up till now. Naturally, like every institution, Galata Saray has had stability, decline and development periods. For instance, the building was reconstructed in 1838 and converted into “Tibbiye-i Adliye-i Sahane,” the Faculty of Medicine. The first Turkish midwives and other Health Service personnel were educated in this university. Thus, a very prominent step was taken to favor Western Science in the field of Civil Education. In 1868, the school was opened under the name of “Lycee Imperial de Galata Serai” (in Turkish: ‘Galatasaray Mektebi Sultanisi’), generating the third stage of present-day Galatasaray).
This historical francophone education institution has been an educational and training foundation in which young people interconnected functionally, physically and socially, and were educated together with a whole freedom of conscience in a boarding system.
In 1874, three universities were instituted with the decree of Sultan Abdulaziz and combined under the name of “Mekteb-i Aliye-i Sultaniye”, covering Galatasaray Law Faculty, Galatasaray Political Science Faculty and Galatasaray Literature Faculty. At that stage, the administrative plans and course designs of these schools were made compatible with Sorbonne University. The university of Law, especially, from the perspective of the present Law Faculties’ historical development, has been an educational institution in conformity with its European precedents. In 1877, “Mekteb-i Aliye-i Sultaniye” was called “Darülfünün-u Sultaniye” and within its body, some seminars were also organized to improve the general culture and knowledge accumulation of high-ranking officials. Within the framework of the Republican Period, Galatasaray continued to serve in conformity with the new state system realized by Atatürk and his ministers and received the name of “Galatasaray Lycée”.
University – History – The Foundation Story of Galatasaray
Associations, clubs, and similar foundations created by Galatasaray Lycée Alumni have undertaken positive tasks in their own fields and are still carrying them on. However, with regards to Galatasaray University, Galatasaray Educational Foundation set up by a group of Galatasaray Alumnae in 1981 and presided by İnan Kıraç should be mentioned, especially, in terms of the importance given to education and the projects put forward. Founded with the aim of overriding the constraints on educational targets and needs of Galatasaray Lycée which was, initially, dependent on just the budgetary possibilities of the Ministery of Education, this foundation, has been successfully achieving the proposed target in the commencement article since its foundation.
This article is as follows: to show its gratitude for all it had done, to the graduates of Galatasaray Lycée, having a honorable history of 500 years and in developing great talents for the country, to protect the existence of this unrivalled tradition of excellence and historical education institution by improving it, to ensure that thousands of Turkish people would benefit from this institution, to increase its contribution to Turkish Culture and education, to pursue formal educational services, which a Lycée is obliged to do, at a higher level of excellence with the above-mentioned will and excitement, a foundation was established.
Within 10 years, while the foundation, greatly contributed both to Galatasaray Lycée and to Galatasaray Community, a project for a French-Medium university was gradually put on the agenda in time.
With this purpose, the university project, for which work started in 1989, was presented to the Turkish and French authorities and greatly supported on both sides and the University Charter was signed by Turkish and French committees on 6th December, 1991 as a result of self-sacrificing efforts. Finally, the project was applied after a signing ceremony held in Galatasaray Lycée and attended by the French and Turkish presidents of that period, President François Mitterand and President Turgut Özal. Thus, this international ceremony and document rendered its juridical entity to the project prepared by Galatasaray Education foundation.
University – History – Galatasaray Education and Training Institution
Undertaken with the efforts of Galatasaray Education Foundation and established by the Charter on 14 April, 1992, our Higher education institution conducted its activities under the name of Galatasaray Education and Training Institution (GEÖK) until June, 1994. The 6th article of the Act No-3993 on 6th June 1994 invalidated the institutional Status, enacted in Official Newspaper No-21397 on 6 December 1992. During the 19 month period until receiving University Status, Galatasaray Education and Training Institution as an integral education and training foundation having public corporation and consisting of the Galatasaray Primary School, the Lyceum, different stages and departments of higher education continued to function within the framework of the decisions taken appropriate to the international Charter in 1992 and institution status and co-representation committee by the Chairman Prof. Dr. Yildizhan Yayla, The Turkish Vice Chairman Prof. Dr. Barlas Tolan, The French Vice Chairman Annie Petit, The Headmaster of Engineering and Technology High School Prof. Dr.Ethem Tolga, the Head master of Galatasaray Lycée Prof. Dr. Erdogan Tezic, and General Secretary Associate Prof. Yalçın Çakalır.
As a result of these stages, Galatasaray Education and training institution transformed into Galatasaray University with Law No 3993 enacted on 6 June 1994, after being published in official gazette no 21952. The institution, although it has in the university status, kept the character of being an integral education and training institution and was identified as Galatasaray Lycée and Galatasaray primary school connected to it and education units affiliated to the Rector.