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The education system in Turkey is compulsory for 12 years and is divided into 3 levels. It is compulsory to take 4 years of elementary school, 4 years of secondary school and 4 years of high school education. The education system in Turkey is equal for all men and women. Education in government institutions is free of charge. In our comprehensive education guide; you will find the Turkish education system, tuition fees, conditions, grading system, medium of instruction, conditions for international students and more information.

Related Post: Top 8 Arabic Schools in Istanbul | Tuition Payments and Locations

Content Guide

  1. International Schools and The Education System in Turkey
  2. International Curriculum and Turkish Education System
  3. Facts of Education in Turkey
  4. Education GPS
  5. Reasons to Study in Turkey
  6. University Education in Turkey
    – State Universities in Turkey
    Private Universities in Turkey
  7. Studying University in Turkey
  8. Top 10 Universities in Turkey
  9. Steps to Apply to University in Turkey
  10. Seminars, Certificate Programs, Courses
  11. FAQs for Education System in Turkey


1. International Schools and The Education System in Turkey

Only foreign students can study at international schools in Turkey. In accordance with Law No. 5580 on Private Educational Institutions in Turkey, only foreign students can receive education in international schools opened by the decision of the Council of Ministers. In Turkey, education is given at all levels in international schools where foreign students can easily get educated and adapted. Foreign students have good conditions to complete their kindergarten, primary, secondary and high school educations in Turkey. Moreover, the number of students in international schools in Turkey is less compared to private and state schools and more special education conditions are offered.


2. International Curriculum and Turkish Education System

Here is the list of curriculum and education system programs offered by international schools in Turkey:

  • International Baccalaureate IB
  • International General Certificate of Secondary Education IGCSE
  • Cambridge International Examination Edexcel
  • Iraqi Diploma
  • Libyan Diploma
  • Yemeni Diploma
  • Sudanese Diploma
  • Lebanese Diploma
  • American Diploma
  • Italian Diploma
  • Abitur ABI
  • Canadian High School Diploma


3. Facts of Education in Turkey

• There are state and private schools where you can receive education in Turkey.

• Turkey is one of the countries in the world where education is given the most importance.

• The government subsidizes all stages of education from kindergarten to post-secondary education.

• 12 years of education consisting the end of high school is compulsory in Turkey.

• Education in Turkey has the highest special expenditure level among OECD countries.

• In the budget of a state school in Turkey, 40% of the current expenditures are provided by special funds.

If you think of residing or studying in Turkey, you can learn about the educational opportunities offered to foreign students from our professional consultants. Now, find affordable housing options close to educational institutions and more details.


4. Education GPS | Years of Education in Turkey by Age

The education system in Turkey is as follows according to age ranges:

  • Early Childhood Education (Age 2-6)
  • Early Childhood Care and Education (Age 3-6)
  • Pre-primary Education (Age 3-6)
  • Primary Education 1st-2nd-3rd-4th (Age 6)
  • Lower Secondary Education 5th-6th-7th-8th
  • General Upper Secondary Education Programs: Preparatory class,9th, 10th, 11th, 12th | High School Diploma / Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education Programs: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th| Vocational or Technical High School Diploma
  • Higher Education

Bachelor’s Programmes: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 | Bachelor’s Master’s Programmes: Year 1, Year 2 → Doctorate and Proficiency in Art Programmes: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 | Doctorate/Proficiency in Art

Dentistry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Faculties: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 | Master’s Specialization in Medical Science and Dentistry: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 | Certificate of Specialist

Medicine Faculty: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6 | Medical Degree Specialization in Veterinary: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 | Certificate of Specialist

Associate Degree Programmes: Year 1, Year 2 | Associate Degree Diploma Specialization in Pharmacy: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 | Certificate of Specialist


5. Reasons to Study in Turkey

Turkey which is famous for its rich culture and good living conditions is valuable for its universal and quality education opportunities. The diploma you will receive in Turkey is recognized by European countries.


Check out Turkish education institutions to get your dream job.

1. Quality Education Opportunities

2. Comfortable Living Spaces for Students

3. Diversity of University and Education Programs

4. Rich culture

5. Opportunities to learn Turkish, One of the Most Spoken Languages in the World

6. Fascinating Destinations

7. Historical and Cultural Heritage

8. Friendly Turkish People

9. Contemporary and Well-Equipped Campuses

10. Quality, Economical and Easy Living Conditions


6. University Education in Turkey

University education starts after the compulsory education process in Turkey. It offers quality education with comprehensive programs. Each university has its own entrance requirements. Universities providing education at a global level in Turkey are advantageous for international students. Every year, thousands of foreign students apply to universities that have strong academic staff in Turkey. The student who wants to study must apply in person. For instance, a foreign student receives education without being a foreigner along with Erasmus / exchange programs in Turkish universities. Short-term student and staff exchanges are made with the cooperation of higher education institutions. Foreign students can receive education in all state and private universities in Turkey. You can review the university application requirements on their website. Besides, you can get more information about academic calendars and tuition payments as well.

– State Universities in Turkey

State universities in Turkey are at the top of the world rankings. State universities in Turkey are demanding due to having strong academic staff and advanced campuses. Foreign students who want to receive undergraduate or graduate education can apply to state universities.


– Private Universities in Turkey

First of all, among the education conditions of foreigners in Turkey, there are fees to be paid at the time of entry to private universities You can easily apply and register to private universities in Turkey by taking into consideration the grading system, special talent tests, equivalence, or different conditions of the universities. Private universities in Turkey allocate a certain number of scholarship quotas for their students. Certain students are able to get the scholarship.

7. Studying University in Turkey

Education in Turkey is known for the facilities, the quality of education and the high living standards.

– Adequate scores must be obtained from internationally recognized exams such as GCE and SAT.

– The Foreign Student Exam score must be sufficient to enter the university.

– Foreign students must have a diploma equivalent to their high school diploma.

– Other conditions determined by universities are published on their websites.

– Master’s degree or doctorate programs in Turkey are two different education programs, with or without a thesis.

– At least 7 courses are taken in doctoral programs. Master’s programs last 2 years.

Foreign students who want to study in Turkey should meet some conditions and complete the necessary documents to enter state and private universities. There are different documents, criteria or tuition fees for each educational institution. More information about these conditions should be obtained from the university to which the application will be made. You will be able to find out what foreign students who want to study in Turkey must do here.


8. Top 10 Universities in Turkey

Here are the best universities with the most successful academic staff in Turkey:

  1. Hacettepe University / State University in Ankara

  • 15 Faculties
  • 15 Institutes
  • 2 Applied Schools
  • 1 Conservatory
  • 4 Vocational Schools
  • 98 Research and Application Centers
2. Middle East Technical University / State University in Ankara

  • 41 Undergraduate Programs
  • 5 Faculties
  • 105 Masters / 70 Doctorate Programs
3. Istanbul Technical University / Research Institution – State University in Istanbul

  • 13 Faculties
  • 39 Departments
  • 6 Institutes
  • 360 Labs
  • 13 Research Centers
4. Istanbul University / State University in Istanbul

  • 15 Faculties
  • 1 Conservatory
  • 2 Vocational Schools
  • 1 Informatics
5. Koc University / Non-Profit Private University in Istanbul

  • 4 Institutes
  • 7 Faculties
6. Gazi University / State University in Ankara

  • 19 Faculties
  • 1 Conservatory
  • 7 Institutes
  • 4 Applied Schools
  • 12 Vocational Schools
7. Ankara University / State University in Ankara

  • 18 Faculties
  • 11 Vocational Schools
  • 1 Conservatory
  • 13 Institutes
8. Gebze Technical University / Research-Oriented State University in Gebze

  • 5 Techno Parks
  • 18 Organized Industrial Zones
  • 200 Research Centers
9. Bilkent University / Private University in Ankara

  • 10 Faculties
  • 3 Applied Schools
  • 3 Institutes
 10. Ege University / State University in Izmir

  • 17 Faculties
  • 9 Institutes
  • 6 Applied Schools
  • 10 Vocational Schools
  • 38 Research Centers

9. Steps to Apply to University in Turkey 

  1. You must choose a university and education program in Turkey.
  2.  If you want to learn about university scholarships and tuition fees, request information from each institution.
  3. Learn and prepare the necessary documents/papers for your education.
  4. Follow the conditions of the university you have chosen in Turkey, such as entrance/special talent exams, language scores. Get information and meet the requirements.
  5. You should get your student visa from the Turkish consulate. If you are admitted to the university, you need to apply.

10. Seminars, Certificate Programs, Courses

Foreigners in Turkey have the right to register for courses, seminars and certificate programs. The student’s T.R ID number is used for the course registrations in Turkey. Students who have a foreign ID number use this ID number to register for courses in Turkey. For foreigners who do not have a foreigner’s identification number in Turkey, registration is started with an 11-digit foreigner identification number starting with 98.

One of the most frequently asked questions by foreign nationals residing or going to be in Turkey is driver’s license courses. Foreign nationals who will apply for a driver’s license course can get courses in English or Arabic.

Common necessary documents for foreign nationals:

  • Passport
  • Residence Permit
  • Photograph
  • Turkish Translation of Diploma or Student Certificate
  • Health Report
  • Criminal Record

Furthermore, foreign nationals who want to use the driver’s license in Turkey have the right to use this driver’s license for 6 months after entering Turkey.

You will have great opportunities to get more information about educational institutions and programs in Turkey and to take advantage of your rights.


11. FAQs For Education System in Turkey

1. What is a Student Visa in Turkey?

It is a visa required for foreigners who want to study in Turkey. For more information, you can take a look at our “student visa” guide.

2. Is Education Free in Turkey?

There are private and state schools in Turkey. Tuition fees vary. There are also scholarship opportunities.

3. How Can I Get a University Scholarship in Turkey?

You are able to get a scholarship according to the GPA or exam scores determined by the university.

4. What is the Medium of Instruction in Turkey?

The medium of instruction in Turkey is generally English at universities. Some universities provide education in Turkish. Language proficiency is required only in universities providing Turkish programs. There are also language preparatory schools.

5. What Are the Other Medium of Instructions?

Generally English education however there are different language courses determined by universities as elective courses in Turkey.