The School Year and School Day

Find out the timings of the academic year and school day in Turkey...

The Ministry of National Education (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı- MEB) sets the school calendar and dates of school terms are the same throughout the country, although the school dates can change at short notice.

  • All schools are closed on public holidays
  • Private schools may have slightly different dates for the school vacations; check with the relevant school
  • Schools may be closed for local holidays, in general these closures are only for one day

The School Year

In both primary and secondary education, the school year must be made up of at least 180 days of school.

The school year is nine-months long and runs from September to June, followed by approximately three months' summer holiday. The school year is divided into two semesters, with a two week break in February. The first semester starts in September and ends in January. The second semester starts in February and ends in June. This format is followed throughout the country.

In addition to the summer and winter break, children also have days off at the following times (dates change from year to year):

  • Eid Holiday (Kurban Bayram)
  • National Sovereignty and Children Day (Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayram)
  • Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sport Day (Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayram)
  • Ramadan Holiday (Ramazan Bayram)

The School Day

School day hours and lunch hours vary from school to school and depend on factors such as the type of school, its location, and transportation facilities in the area. However, all classes last between 40 and 45 minutes, and each break is at least five minutes.

The school week runs from Monday to Friday with a total of 35 to 40 hours. The school day usually begins at 08:30 and ends at 16:30. It is divided by a lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00. Over- crowded schools may split sessions.

School uniform is obligatory at Turkish schools to avoid highlighting social class differences between rich and poor students.

Some schools provide meals; this may require an additional payment (not required from poorer students).