Education and Study in Turkey – All You Need to Know


Turkey has become a great choice for immigration for many people around the world, Given the increasing demand for immigration to this country. Another issue that must be addressed is the state of education and study in Turkey.

Fortunately, the Turkish education system provides, in addition to high quality, a variety of options that can cover a large group of good education seekers with different financial resources.

Education in all its forms in Turkey takes place under the supervision of the country’s Ministry of Education. In general, pre-university education in this country is carried out with high quality and low cost, and you can be assured of the educational quality that your child will receive in Turkey.

Join us until the end of the article to learn more about educational levels and teaching in Turkish schools.

A comprehensive view of the education and study in Turkey

All Turkish public and private educational institutions operate under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. These schools, especially public schools, are located even in the smallest cities in the country.

The school age in Turkey officially begins at five. Before that, the child can go to kindergarten and preschool, and the first 12 years of school are considered compulsory.

Education in Turkey is completely free until the university. Migrants can also benefit from the free public education system. However, the requirements may differ for people who came to Turkey only for pre-university studies.

Recently, although it is free, the Turkish public education system is no longer common in Turkey, and most people prefer to study in private schools. To enroll in a public school, you must bring a document proving that the school is the closest public school to your home.

How to register in Turkish schools

To register your child in a Turkish school, you must have obtained a residence permit in Turkey, and your child must be under 18 years old.

To register your child in the first grade, you must go to schools near your place of residence using your residence card. In addition to a paper from the municipality proving your address and confirming that you live near the school. You can register your child after paying full tuition fees or in installments at some private schools.

If you have just migrated and your child wants to continue his studies in Turkey, his latest academic record is required for registration.

These documents must be translated and notarized with an original copy of the passport.

Some private schools also have a test in which your child must pass a certain degree for admission.

Turkish public schools have a large number of applicants, so you should be careful not to delay your child’s registration because the school capacity may be full.

What does the study in Turkish schools look like?


Uniforms are mandatory in Turkish schools. The uniform is often dark blue in public schools, but non-public schools have colorful ones.

The language:

Turkish Language education in Turkey is compulsory in all schools. In addition to the Turkish language, another language is often taught at a separate cost, starting in the fourth year of elementary school. If the school is international, Turkish is the second language.

School year:

Each course in Turkish schools consists of 180 academic days, starting in September and ending in January, then from January to June.

School days:

Hours and school days often vary from school to school. Often, the school operates from Monday to Friday, 5 days a week, and it usually starts at 8 am and ends at 4 pm. There is also a lunch, which Turkish schools charge from parents.


Holiday time in summer after June is three months. There are also two weeks of winter holidays in February. Schools are also closed on other public holidays, such as Eid, National Sovereignty, Children’s Day….

Education levels in Turkey

In Turkey, every student must study for 12 years. These include 4 years of primary school, 4 years of middle school, and 4 years of high school.

Sending a child to kindergarten and preschool is not compulsory, and most of the locals do not, but since the study process in Turkey facilitates the integration of children into life in Turkey, migrants usually register their children there.


Kindergartens in Turkey accept children from birth until the age of three. Most of the locals do not send their children to kindergarten, and this is not common among them. In general, kindergartens in Turkey, both private and public, are not free.

Kindergarten registration is easy after obtaining residency in Turkey. Also, enrolling your child in kindergarten can help him/her learn the Turkish language very quickly, so it is easier for them in school.

Many kindergartens also have English teachers, and your child can learn English in addition to Turkish.


Children from 3 to 5 years old can be sent to the preschool. Sending children to preschool is not very common among the locals in Turkey. Hours of incubation are often from 8:30 in the morning until 4 in the evening.

This time includes training, games, lunch and even afternoon nap. This stage is not free, and just like kindergarten, you can easily register your child with a residency permit in Turkey.

Primary School:

The primary school in Turkey lasts for 4 years and covers the period from 5 to 9 years. Some of these schools’ programs are literacy, mathematics, optional religious education, art, and a foreign language.

The number of schools is small compared to the population, so each class may contain up to 30 students, but the classroom can accommodate this number. To work around this problem, most Turkish schools have two shifts.

Turkish schools have a uniform. And if the student fails the exam, he must pass the same exam in the following year.

Middle School:

Middle school also lasts for 4 years for children from 9 to 12 years. The subjects of study in Turkey middle school include: history, geography, science, art, physics, Turkish language, foreign language, mathematics, music and technology. Religious teachings are also taught, and they are optional.

In each subject there is a separate teacher and at the end of the middle school period, a national examination is taken to enter the high school. To choose this school, be sure to look at the number of high school students in each school.

High School:

High school is when a student completes 12 years of study, that at the end of it he will be tested, and after that, the student passes the pre-university level and prepares to enter the university.

At high school, sports, technology, Turkish literature, mathematics, engineering, Turkish history, geography, chemistry, biology and foreign languages ​​are taught.

Schools in Turkey

Schools in Turkey are divided into three sections: private, public and international. You must determine the long objective of your stay in Turkey before choosing a school.

If you want to stay permanently in Turkey, Turkish schools, both private and public, are the best option. If you want to immigrate to another country after Turkey, international schools are the best option.

Turkish International Schools:

There are international schools in Turkey under the auspices of different countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, these schools follow the same education system in their countries.

Most immigrants are interested in educating their children in international schools, in fact this is the purpose of these schools. Most of these schools teach in English, but German and French languages can also be found. Turkish is also taught as a second language in these schools. The degree that is offered to the student at the end of the course is international.

Entry requirements for each of these schools are different. As some of them require passing an exam for admission.

Turkish universities

There are more than 200 universities in Turkey, most of which are public universities. Most of these educational institutions were newly created, As in the early seventies, there were only eight public universities, the first private university (Bilkent University) was established in 1984.

Antalya International University (AIU) is the newest university in Turkey, which started its first academic year on 13/12/2010 with the aim of attracting international students.

Public and private universities in Turkey follow the Bologna Agreement and standardize their courses according to European standards. Several Turkish universities also participated in the Erasmus+ program, which supports the exchange of international students. The higher education system in Turkey is ranked 43 globally.

Universities and other higher education institutions fall into two categories, public and private:

The tuition fees in Turkish public universities are lower, as they receive support from the government. And teaching in these universities is conducted in Turkish, English, German or French.

Private universities usually charge higher fees from students, and the language of instruction in classes and courses is often English.

Aydin University in Istanbul and the Foreign University of Turkey are among the most prestigious universities in Turkey in the field of medicine.

All Turkish universities are supervised by the Turkish Higher Education Council (YOK). This ensures that all universities are at the international level, as well as their commitment to all international educational standards.

Turkish universities classification

10 Turkish universities are ranked in the QS classification, and 45 Turkish universities are ranked in the global ranking of universities QS 2019.

EECA is the ranking site for the best universities in the integration of Europe and Central Asia.

Most of Turkey’s major universities are located in the two major cities, Ankara and Istanbul.

The Middle East Technical University, Bilkent and Hacettepe University are located in Ankara (all among the top 50 universities), while Boğaziçi University, Koç University, Sabancı University, Istanbul Technical University, and Istanbul University are located in Istanbul, and all of these universities are among the top 30 universities in the country .

Middle East Technical University (METU)

Middle East Technical University (METU)

METU is ranked 8th in the EECA rankings.

The university was founded in 1956, and the university specializes in natural sciences and social sciences. The Technical Middle East University has played an important role in the development of Turkey and the Middle East, as today 31,000 students are studying at the university. Many students attend university for one semester or one year. Given the high demand, the university accepts only 1.5% of the top 1.5 million advanced students.

The language of teaching at this university is English.

Boğaziçi University

Boğaziçi University

Boğaziçi University in Istanbul is located near the Bosphorus and the historic Roman Rumeli hisar. The two sites are located on the eastern border of the university’s southern campus.

At Boğaziçi University, like the Middle East Technical University, classes are taught in English. The university also has close ties to the American higher education system.

Koç University

Koç University

Koç University was founded in 1993 in Istanbul and is currently 12th in EECA rankings. The university’s founder, Wehbe Koç, was an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose name was listed at the university.

Koç University, one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Turkey, is able to offer international training courses, and has been able to hold 22 university courses, 32 masters degrees and 18 doctoral courses at the university. There are also about 5500 students studying at the university. The university’s goal is to “train competent, skilled and qualified students with a creative, independent and neutral mindset who can be confident managers.”

Bilkent University

Bilkent University

Bilkent University ranked 14th in EECA rankings in 2019, and the university was named for the Turkish phrase “bilim kenti”, which means “city of science and learning”.

Bilkent University is the first private and not-for-profit organization founded in 1984 by Professor Ihsan Dogramaci. The university, which has the largest university library in the country, is one of the leading national research universities. Currently, about 13,000 students study in nine colleges and two specialized schools for four years.

Sabanci University

Sabanci University

Sabanci University, located in Istanbul, is the fifth largest university in Turkey, and is ranked 18th in the EECA rating.

Sabanci University is another newly established university in Turkey in the fall of 1999, and the university currently has about 4,000 students. In addition to the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences (FENS) and the College of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), the university offers its students a wide range of courses in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

About 42% of undergraduate students are awarded scholarships.

The advantages of education and study in Turkey

Turkey, which has good relations with Western countries and whose regime has been transformed into a republic since 1923, has become a developed and growing country through the adoption of a liberal economic system. Where different ethnic groups live together in a very rich culture, it is also known as one of the safest countries in the region, and studying in Turkey has many benefits. The educational system of universities is characterized by a modern style that gave Turkey great international status. Among the most important advantages of studying in Turkey:

High educational standards

Turkish universities have a global reputation in the field of higher education, with the quality of successful teachers and professors and an integrated global education system. Because of these benefits, students can climb the ladder of progress easily and prepare for their working life and careers.

International certificates from Turkish universities

The degrees of international students studying at Turkish universities are valid in many European countries, the United States, and all around the world. Because the value of the degree varies from one university to another, students must read the credentials before graduation to take advantage of the best education.

Modern and equipped campus in Turkish universities

Both public and private universities provide students with easy access to information, and provide a spacious, comfortable and well-equipped learning environment for students. Students can also complete their higher education in a modern location using the laboratory, library, student associations, artistic activities and other student activities.

Safe and affordable study opportunity

While Turkey is very advanced compared to other countries in the region, it has a higher level of security. Regardless of the socially active life of the country compared to its neighbor countries, where students can study in better economic conditions from Europe and the United States.

Hospitality and friendly relations of the Turkish people

The number of young people in Turkey is very large, and it has become a special country due to the rapid acceptance of foreigners and the provision of all facilities available for their comfort. The hospitality of the Turks is mentioned even in world literature, and at the same time their honesty and loyalty are always at the highest level.

Quality and easy access to accommodation, food and public transport

One of the most basic needs for students in the advanced system in Turkey is housing, food and transportation. As many universities provide foreign advisory services for foreign students, so that they can adapt to life in Turkey as soon as possible.

Every university has clean, high-quality dining halls that offer affordable food. Students can eat three meals a day at the university or outside the university, and the public transport system in urban areas is very advanced.

It is very easy to move from one place to another using public transportation facilities such as subway, tram, bus, taxi and metrobus system. Students can also obtain special cards for public transportation, and transportation costs are often very cheap.

Each university has several dormitories located a short distance from the university. Students can also rent an apartment, room or house near the university.

Conditions of education and study in Turkey

The Turkish government has a policy of attracting international students to improve its university rankings. Turkey also focuses on attracting students from Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. To this end, the Turkish government grants scholarships to students, and Turkish universities have lower tuition fees than many other countries, especially the Middle East.

The annual tuition fees for Turkish universities are as follows:

  • The annual cost for studying in English is $ 600 to $ 1500.
  • The annual cost for studying in Turkish is $ 240 to $ 730.
  • The average monthly cost of living in Turkey is 400 to 500 USD.

In addition to the Turkish government, other institutions, such as the Islamic Development Bank, offer scholarships to foreign students. There are a number of other scholarships awarded to students with special qualifications. The duration of this scholarship is 5 years for students who have to take the English language as a precondition and 4 years for other students who enter the university directly. This scholarship, which is awarded based on students’ CVs, includes the following:

  • University lessons
  • The cost of living for 10 months
  • Accommodation costs

Study in Turkey in the Turkish language

Turkish universities and schools have a good educational level. Turkey also has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Indeed, Turkish university degrees are well known and accepted all over the world. High schools and universities, and the increasing number of courses taught in English, are among the reasons why Turkey is the top destination for study for a large number of students.

However, the main language in Turkey is Turkish, and students have the opportunity to take this language in educational classes, enter universities and study in the Turkish language. Of course, it is also possible to study in English.

People who want to study in Turkey in the Turkish language must pass the YOS test, which is a test that proves the student’s ability to speak the Turkish language, and the SAT test in order to study in English.

The documents required for studying in Turkey

To study in Turkey, the required documents for admission and visa must be submitted. Depending on the college or university you are applying to, different documents may be required for admission.

In general, these documents include the following:

  • Identity documents, including official translation of identity cards and national cards
  • Official translation of diplomas and certificates obtained
  • medical certificate
  • Evidence of no criminal record
  • 4 photos
  • Financial documents
  • Language degree if necessary in Turkish or English or proof of knowledge of this language

Frequently asked questions about studying in Turkey

How many international students are currently studying in Turkey?
More than 80,000 international students are currently studying in Turkey.

How many universities are there in Turkey and what is the oldest?
There are 166 universities in Turkey, the oldest being Istanbul University and Cankaya University.

What are the annual tuition fees for Turkish universities?
The average annual cost for studying in English is 600 to 1500 dollars.

What is the monthly cost of living in Turkey?
The average monthly cost of living in Turkey is around 400 to 500 dollars.

How many universities are accredited in Turkey?
There are 6 accredited universities in Turkey, and in order to be admitted to these universities, you must pass the admission test.