General Overview of the School System

Information on the public and private schooling systems in Turkey, from pre-primary to higher education...

The school system in Turkey includes:

  • Pre-Primary (Okul Öncesi): Optional education for children from age three to six years
  • Primary (İlköğretim) education: Compulsory education for all children from age 6/7 to 14/15; it is free at public schools. This education lasts 8 years (Grade 1 to Grade 8) with foreign language lessons starting from the 4th grade
  • Secondary (Lise): Schooling for students from age 14/15 to 18/19; it lasts 4 years (Grade 9 to Grade 12). Secondary education includes general, vocational and technical high schools

General secondary schools may be public or private and prepare the students for a higher learning institution, not a vocation. Some have foreign language preparatory classes requiring one extra year of education.

Note: Turkish state schools do not provide special help to children whose first language is not Turkish, however the administration and teachers are generally supportive; it is recommended to discuss a child's needs directly with the school.

  • The Turkish educational system from the Turkish Fulbright Commission: Click here

Types of secondary school

Public high schools:

  • Ordinary high schools
  • Anatolian high schools, where more lessons are provided in a selected foreign language (English, German and French)
  • Science high schools focusing on science education

Private high schools are established by private companies and provide more lessons in selected foreign languages (English, German and French).

Vocational and technical secondary schools focus on a certain type of profession. Vocational and technical high schools include:

  • Technical secondary schools for the study of engineering, electronics, chemistry, machinery, construction
  • Vocational secondary schools for tourism, industrial studies, public health, commercial and agricultural training

Higher education

Higher education includes universities, faculties, institutes, conservatories, vocational higher education schools, police and military academies and colleges and application-research centres. National University Entrance Examination (Üniveriste Giriş Sınavı) is required.

  • World Higher Education Database (WHED) on Turkey: Click here