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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice



Last update: 27 November 2023


4+4+4 Education System

A new educational system that came into being as of March 2012 is based on "4+4+4" (the first section (primary school-1, 2, 3,4th grade), the second section (secondary school- 5, 6, 7,8th grade) and the third section (high school-9, 10, 11,12th grade).


Basic Education

Education that includes general, vocational and technical high schools that provide three of four years education is called basic education. However, basic compulsory education is 12 years.


Basic Law of National Education

The law that organizes the fundamental principles of Turkish national education focuses on such areas as follows: universality and equality', 'individual and social needs', 'orientation', 'right to education', 'equality of opportunity', 'continuity in education', 'Atatürk's Reforms and Principles and Atatürk's Nationalism', 'education for democracy', 'secularism', 'scientific approach to education', 'planned education', 'coeducation', 'school - parent cooperation' and 'education everywhere'.


Centralized Educational System

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, every citizen has the right to education that is free of charge for the compulsory primary education. Except in specially licensed and foreign institutions, Turkish must be taught as the mother tongue. Since 2012, twelve years of education is compulsory for boys and girls, which can be divided into 4+4+4 years of schooling. The Ministry of National Education (MEB) runs educational administration of the country and is responsible for drawing up curricula, coordinating the work of official, private and voluntary organizations, designing and building schools, developing educational materials and so on.


Compulsory Education

As of September 2012, 12-year compulsory education became a standard in all levels of education. Instead of 8-year compulsory education, twelve years are divided into three main streams including the first section (primary school-1, 2,3,4th grade), the second section (secondary school- 5,6,7,8th grade) and the third section (high school-9, 10,11,12thgrade).


Continuing Professional Development

It is the means by which teachers maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professions. This is mostly carried out by the Ministry of National Education at the very beginning of each academic year (September).


Council of Higher Education

Council of Higher Education is responsible for the supervision of universities in Turkey, in a capacity defined by articles 130 and 131 of the 1982 constitution.


Distance Education Programs

Distance education is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom. In Turkey, as part of its civic engagement mission, Anadolu University has also focused on expanding educational opportunities for all Turkish citizens through distance learning. The University first established its Distance Education System in 1982. The system has been expanded greatly over the years, and now educates hundreds of thousands who might not otherwise be able to continue their education.


English Preparatory Schools

English Preparatory Schools offer one-year English intensive instruction for those who are not able to follow the classes in English in their own departments. Students who fail to show their proficient English language skills are expected to take at least twenty hours a week in preparatory schools.


FATİH Project

Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology or Fatih Project (Turkish: Fırsatları Artırma ve Teknolojiyi İyileştirme Hareketi) is a project of the Turkish government, which seeks to integrate state-of-the-art computer technology into Turkey's public education system.


Foundation University

In Turkey, there are two types of universities. State and Foundation universities. Second type, foundation universities are also established by private foundations, providing they are in accordance with the procedures and principles set forth by law and are non-profit in nature. There is no private university system in Turkey.


General Directorate of Education Abroad

This directorate is responsible for sending Turkish graduate students abroad to do their master and Phd degrees in the UK or the US.


General Directorate of Foreign Relations

This directorate is responsible for regulating the cooperation and collaboration between the Ministry of Education and their assosiates around Europe in terms of the possible links of educational partnerships.


General Directorate of Life Long Learning

Turkey has described the principles of lifelong learning on which the Turkish education system is based in a document sent to the Commission, namely The Turkish strategy for lifelong learning. The principles of lifelong learning have been applied for a considerable time and are not new. This directorate is responsible for organizing life long learning events for individuals from all walks of life.


Law on Higher Education

The aim of this law is to define the goals and principles pertaining to higher education and to establish principles, related to the functioning, duties, authority, and responsibilities in connection with education, research, publication, teaching staff, students and other personnel of institutions of higher education and their governing bodies.


In-service Teacher Education

The term 'in-service teacher education programme' connotes any programme provided to teachers already working in schools, with the explicit purpose of updating and renewing their knowledge, technical skills, etc., for main-training and/or enhancing their efficiency.


Law of Private Education Institutions

This law identifies the conditions for private education institutions to be opened in Turkey.


Mass Education Programs

Mass Education Programs provide non-formal educational services with courses on social and cultural issues as well as on vocational/technical and general education courses for individuals from different age and educational levels in both city centers, provinces and rural areas.


Master Degree

Second cycle programs covers master of arts (MA) and master in science (MSc) programs. Two versions are available: thesis and non-thesis programs. The only difference is that non-thesis programs do not lead to a third cycle program, a PhD degree. Second cycle programs typically require a BA diploma, language proficiency in a second language (mostly English but others are also accepted) and a graduate education exam, which is a central exam including test items on academic literacy, reasoning, mathematics and logic, run by Measurement, Selection and Placement Center.


Measurement, Selection and Placement Center

This institution is a centralized authority in designing and running high-stakes national examinations in Turkey, some of which are 'University Entrance Exam', 'Foreign Language Exam' and 'Academic Graduate Entrance Exam'. The institution also places students into higher education programs. 



A mentor is a teacher in a Ministry state school, primary or secondary, who supervises to undergraduate student teachers of education faculties during their practicum course, run in cooperation with the universities and the Ministry of National Education. Mentors are responsible for academic and administrative training of student teachers during the practicum, which is a two-semester course in the last year of teacher education BA programs.


Multi Program Secondary Schools 

Certain secondary schools offer different curricular programs in a school. Those programs are believed to be helpful in provinces where different versions of education may not be possible.


National Education Council

Working under the auspcies of the Ministry of National Education, National Education Council is primarily responsible for the curriculum, syllabus, specific programs and the coursebooks to be utilized in the state primary and secondary school.


Phd Degrees 

PhD is a third cycle program, based on a MA/MSc program and run by specific institutes affiliated to the universities. A PhD program typically has three components in Turkish higher education system: Course phase, comprehensive exams phase and dissertation phase. The regular duration is 4 years and it can be extended up to 7 years.


Pre-service Teacher Education 

Or 'Initial Teacher Education' is merely fulfilled by Faculties of Education at Universities, despite the fact that the Ministry needed to create different pathways for teacher employment in the last decades. Four year programs are completely based on the concurrent model in teacher education; that is the theory, practice and practicum periods are integrated within the degree program.