Founded in 1996 by the Istanbul Education and Culture Foundation, Yeditepe is a private institution whose mission is based on the secular principles of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. The largest of Turkey’s foundation universities, a non-profit private model created as an alternative to the state system by legislation in the early 1980s and which started with Bilkent University in 1984, it receives no government funding.
The architecture of its purpose-built ‘August 26th’ campus in the suburb of Kayisdagi, on the Asian side of Istanbul, is modelled on the style of the medieval Seljuk Empire, with a 22 metre high entrance giving on to a lit courtyard. It provides accommodation for 4,250 students, 341 classrooms and lecture halls and 106 laboratories.
It is an English-medium institution, but offers instruction in seven other languages. As of 2017, its 13 faculties offer 64 different undergraduate programmes and there are five graduate institutes – Education, Natural Applied Science , Health, Social Sciences and Ataturk Principles and Revolution History. Health is an area of particular strength, including a University Hospital founded in 2005, a highly-regarded dental school and a research centre for Opthalmology.
It has a strong international orientation, with partnerships with more than 30 universities in the USA and, as of 2017, more than 700 Erasmus partnerships and plus another 250 under other international programmes. It was the first of Turkey’s foundation universities to pass European University Association evaluation.
Yeditepe has also established strong traditions in the performing arts. It hosts dance and international folklore festivals, while its alumni include a number of well-known Turkish singers and actors