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Education in Turkey

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Education in Turkey is based on a national system which was established in accordance with the Atatürk Reforms after the Turkish War of Independence. Compulsory education lasts 12 years.

Primary education

Primary school (Turkish: İlköğretim Okulu) lasts 8 years. Primary education covers the education and teaching of children between the ages of 6–14.

There are four core subjects at First, Second and Third Grades which are; Turkish, Math, Hayat Bilgisi (literally meaning "Life Knowledge") and Foreign Language. At Fourth Grade, "Hayat Bilgisi" is replaced by Science and Social Studies. The foreign language taught at schools changes from school to school. There are five core subjects at sixth and seventh grades; Turkish, maths, science, social studies and foreign language. At eighth grade, social studies is replaced by history and citizenship.

Secondary education

Secondary education (High School / Turkish: Lise) includes all the general, vocational and technical education institutions that provide at least three years of education after primary school. Secondary education aims to give students a good level of knowledge, and to prepare them for higher education. Also to prepare them for a vocation, for life and for business.

All high schools in Turkey accepting students use an examination by the Ministry of Education (Turkey). At the end of high school, following the 12th grade, students take a high school finishing examination. They are required to pass this in order to take the University entrance examinations before they can attend a university.


It is not necessary to attend a university in Turkey. [1]

By 2011 there were 166 universities in Turkey.[2]Except for the Open Education Faculty (Turkish: Açıköğretim Fakültesi) at Anadolu University, entrance is regulated by a national examination, ÖSYS, after which high school graduates are assigned to university according to their performance.[3]


  1. 2002 report of the Ministry for Education on Higher Education; accessed 3 November 2012
  2. See an article in Hürriyet Daily News of 4 September 2011 University numbers on the rise in Turkey; accessed on 4 November 2012
  3. Guide For Foreign Students Who Wants To Education In Turkey