Education In Turkey

20th December 2018

Education in Turkey

If you are moving to Turkey with children you will be planning to enrol them into school.  You may also yourself be interested in pursuing education in Turkey, here is some information on the Education system.

Primary and Secondary Education

Preschool education is not enforced it is optional, there are plenty of private pre-schools and some state available.  Officially school starts at 6 years old and continues over 8 years – 4 years of elementary school and 4 years of middle school.  Depending of exam results and preference pupils are then split between general high schools or vocational and technical training centres for a further 4 year period.

State primary and secondary schools offer free education however the curriculum is fully Turkish.  There are also international private schools that charge a monthly or yearly fee.  The curriculum is offered in other languages, English, German , French etc.  Some wealthier Turkish families opt for private schooling where pupils learn extra languages.


Universites in Turkey are managed by the state or non-profit organisations.  Public institutions are free apart from an initial registration fee (approximately 100tl per class).  Private schools fees are more expensive and vary from school to school and area.  All universities are supervised by the Turkish Council for Higher Education (Yuksek Ogrentim Kurulu – YOK) which have worked to place Turkish education on an equal keel to that in Europe. Universities offer undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees.

The year normally starts in September or October until the end of June, there are breaks in the spring and winter.  Some universities also have a summer trimester.

Foreign students can enrol quite simply in Turkish universities, it is slightly different if applying for law or medicine.  Student will need to register with YOK, take an entry exam and provide a translated version of their previous qualifications, grades and credentials.

To win a place in the most prestigious Turkish universities such as Bogazici University in Istanbul or the Middle East Technical University in Ankara students have to pass demanding exams and it is very competitive to gain a place. 

There are also international student exchange placements.  Turkey is part of the European Erasmus Programme.  Turkey was the third most popular study destination after Germany and the UK.

To stay and study in Turkey a residency permit is necessary.  If you have any questions about residency permits for study YellAli can help assist you with advice and applications.

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Turkish Residence Permit


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