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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure


2.Organisation and governance

2.3Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Last update: 27 November 2023

The aim of pre-school education in Turkey is to provide children's physical, mental, emotional development and acquire good habits, and to prepare them for primary education, offering appropriate conditions for children from disadvantaged environments. (The Ministry of National Education Regulation on Pre-School Education and Primary Education Institutions, published in the Official Gazette No. / 2019-30827) Children aged 57-68 months are registered in the kindergarten, nursery class and practice classes as of the end of September of the year when the enrollment is made. Children of 36-56 months can be enrolled in kindergarten and practice classes, and 45-56 months in kindergarten classes.

Children aged 57-68 months are enrolled in kindergarten, nursery class and practice classes as of the end of September of the year in which the registration is made. After the registration of children residing in the registration area of the school and who will start primary school in the next academic year, 36-56 months old children can be registered in kindergarten and practice classes, and 45-56 months old children in kindergarten classes with sufficient physical means. In schools where there are not enough children to form a group, children aged 36-68 months can be enrolled in the same kindergarten. Children aged 69-71 months, whose primary school enrollment is postponed for one year and who did not receive pre-school education in the previous year, are given priority in enrollment in pre-school education institutions (Ministry of National Education Regulation on Pre-School and Primary Education Institutions Article 11-5/a,b,c).

Pre-school education, which is called the education of children 36-68 months and 48-68 months for the purpose of opening an independent preschool education of children, is carried out in kindergarten and application classes opened within the formal and informal educational institutions. Children of 45 months and 68 months old are required to enroll in kindergartens by the end of September. However, children of 36-45 months are eligible for enrolling in schools that do not have enough children to form a group. In line with the requirements, if needed, public institutions and municipalities may open pre-school institutions in accordance with relevant legislation within universities and other institutions. Preschool education programs are implemented in accordance with the decision 133 and dated 25.09.2013 made in the Ministry of National Education and Board of Education. The purpose of primary education is to provide necessary basic knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits to become a good citizen, to grow in line with the national morality, and interests in terms of capability and the ability and to ensure the preparation of higher education. 

Primary education institutions; Four-year term and compulsory primary and secondary schools consist of different programs with four -year compulsory choice of allowing religious secondary schools. Elective courses are chosen according to their preferences to support middle school students' abilities during high school education in secondary/secondary religious high schools. An amendment in the Regulation of Early Childhood Education and Primary Education Institutions (10/07/2019) states that while previously children who complete 66 months were accepted to the primary schools, the children that complete 69 months are to be accepted to the primary schools. In addition, children at 66, 67 and 68 months old used to be accepted to the primary schools upon the petition of the parents, but the new regulation accentuates only children competing 69 months are accepted to the primary schools. School principals can lead children at 69, 70 and 71 months old to early childhood education depending on the written request of the parents or can postpone the admission for an academic year. 

Secondary Open Education: Primary school graduates as citizens and those who could not attend secondary school but for some reason are given the opportunity to complete secondary school institutions through a distance education method. There is no branch system requirement and teachers do not exist in the system. Compulsory school age of 6 years (completing 69 months) includes children in the age group 13. (It covers children who complete the 69 months by the end of September and 14 aged children who just completed 13 years and become 14 years old).

Secondary Education: Secondary education is based on primary education, at least four years of compulsory general education that covers all vocational and technical education institutions in formal or informal ways.

In order to enroll in secondary education institutions, students who have completed secondary school or imam-hatip secondary school and have not completed the age of 18 at the beginning of the academic year are required. Students who do not meet the age requirement are not enrolled in formal secondary education institutions. The age requirement is not required for those who did not take a break. However, at the end of the 22-year school year, students who cannot graduate from the school are sent to open secondary education institutions or vocational education centers, except those who can graduate from the school by taking the responsibility exams. However, this provision does not apply to matters related to registration and disconnection.

General Secondary Education: It is a type of education based on primary education lasting at least four years of compulsory education to provide students with general knowledge, interest, desire and ability for higher education, higher education or the education process and to prepare the students for the future.

General Secondary Education covers Anatolian High School, the School of Social Sciences, College of Science, College of Fine Arts, College of Sports and Anatolian Imam Hatip High Schools.

Vocational and Technical Secondary Education: It is a type of education based on primary education at least four years of compulsory education students giving general culture, interests, demands and capabilities of higher education, both higher education and the educational process that prepare them for a profession/life and business.

Vocational education institutions include Vocational and Technical High Schools, Vocational and Technical Education Centers consisting of Anatolian Religious High Schools and Anatolian High Schools, College of Fine Arts and Sports College.

Open High School: It is a type of formal education for those who cannot continue their education and pass the age of formal education. It serves students who want to move to open high school while attending high school. Cut score is given in open high school and teaching with the credit system. The system should have a branch, however, there are no teachers.  

The higher education system includes all institutions that implement programs of at least two years after secondary education, consists of universities, high technology institutes, foundation vocational colleges and other non-university higher education institutions (police and military colleges and academies) (ISCED 2011 levels 5, 6, 7 and 8). Universities are full time (masters and doctoral) programs which operate institutions. Master's degree programs take two and three years, four-year colleges and vocational education based four-year college leading to a bachelor's degree, completely vocationally oriented education leading to associate degrees containing two years. It consists of vocational schools. Vocational schools can be established as an independent body without the foundations of the university. Access to higher education programs at all levels in academic or vocational-technical secondary education depends on the condition to be successful. Universities create vocational training programs to any degree or diploma in their academic training/research to prepare students for their services. Additionally, they have to offer an evaluation of academic autonomy. The aims of higher education are to improve the welfare, happiness and economic development of individuals, which will contribute to the social and cultural development and implement programs to accelerate contemporary civilization, and adopt a constructive creative perspective. It also ensures that they become an exclusive partner and carry out scientific studies and research at a higher level as higher education institutions. Furthermore, higher education aims to contribute to universal and modern development in line with developments in national and international contexts to create knowledge and produce technologies to spread scientific data, to support the development of domestic and foreign institutions collaborating with the world of science by becoming a member of the elite scientific society.

The purposes of special education in our country are to create individuals with special educational needs in line with the overall objectives of Turkey and the basic principles of National Education and to regulate the procedures and principles for providing general and vocational education to be able to benefit from the law.

Special educational needs of individuals or businesses and operations directly related to access to education services that will be offered indirectly to the Special Education Services, the Ministry of National Education are provided through the Regulation. 

According to the results of educational evaluation and diagnosis conducted in guidance and research centers, special education schools and institutions are opened by the Ministry for the individuals who need special education as well as educational services through integration/integration practices in all types and levels. In this context, vision, hearing, orthopedic, physical disability, individuals with intellectual disabilities, individuals with autism and individuals with special abilities are provided with institutional education. In addition, education services are offered at home or in hospitals for individuals with special educational needs who are in the age of compulsory education and who cannot benefit directly from educational institutions due to health problems.

The rights and responsibilities of the students and parents in our country are stated in the Regulation on Preschool Education and Primary Education Institutions of the Ministry of National Education published in the Official Gazette numbered 29072. In addition, Contact Center “147”, which the Ministry of National Education serves for the purpose of providing all kinds of information, questions, demands, opinions, suggestions, notifications, and complaints received from students, parents, teachers and all other citizens in order to ensure equal opportunities in education, was established.

Education Applications Through Mainstream Education

Mainstreaming / Integrating education practices are the ones providing support education services to individuals with special needs in order to ensure that individuals with a special education need to interact with other individuals at all levels and levels and to realize their educational objectives at the highest level.

Education Support Rooms: It is an environment designed to provide special education and training services to students with special needs and students who are continuing their education through full-time integration/integration.

Special Education Classes: In accordance with the Report of the Special Education Evaluation Board, special education classes are opened with the Governor's Office in accordance with the proposal of the provincial or district special education services board in the official and private schools for the students who need special education. In the process of opening special education class; the special education classes opened in accordance with the 27th and 28th articles of the Regulation in the place of education, the level of education provided to the classes, the type of inadequacy of the students enrolled in the classes, whether the capacity of the classes reached the maximum number and whether the access to education can be provided by carrying them to these classes and the special education schools In case of necessity of evaluating student capacities and opening a new class, work and procedures are initiated. In addition, special education programs will be implemented in the secondary education institutions which provide pre-school, primary, secondary and vocational education by the 27.28th article of the same Regulation. Special education classes can be opened which apply for a different education program from the school or institution's education program. Individuals who are not able to follow primary, general or vocational secondary education programs can continue these classes.

With the aim of gaining knowledge and skills for the students, special education vocational schools are opened by the Ministry to ensure that these individuals continue their four-year compulsory education at the secondary education level. Daytime special education practice schools (3rd level) are opened by the Ministry for individuals with moderate or severe intellectual disability and for students who are unable to continue their general, vocational and technical secondary education programs. Students who complete the special education program applied in special education practice schools continue their education at the special education practice school (3rd level).

Early childhood education services for children with special educational needs of 0-36 months are carried out in special education schools, pre-school education institutions, educational institutions with preschool education institutions and in accordance with the needs of children and families with the decision of the provincial or district special education services board.

Primary Education Institutions for Individuals Needing Special Education; Daytime or boarding special education elementary schools and private education secondary schools for individuals with hearing, vision or physical impairment; daytime special education primary schools and special education secondary schools open for individuals with mild mental deficiency.

For individuals with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities and moderate or severe autism, daytime special education practice school (Level I) and special education practice school (Level II) are opened. The special education program prepared by the Ministry is applied. Based on the programs followed by the students, the IEP is prepared. In these schools, students with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities and medium or severe autism are educated in separate branches. Classes are the most available; 8 students with intellectual disabilities and 4 students for students with autism.

Secondary education institutions opened for individuals in need of special education: Daytime or boarding special education vocational high schools are opened for individuals with hearing or physical disabilities who complete primary education programs.

In schools opened for hearing impaired individuals, students with mild mental disability or autism apply a special education vocational school program for students with visual or hearing impairment; For students with moderate to severe mental retardation or autism, classes that apply a special education program (III) can be opened. In this class, the activities and operations related to education and training shall be carried out in accordance with the related articles of this Regulation and training shall be provided in the daytime.

Special education application schools or special education application schools are opened for students who have completed their education in a special education class that implements the program of this school and students with medium or severe intellectual disabilities who cannot attend secondary education programs and who have medium or heavy autism.

Hospital Schools: For the students with special educational needs who are in need of special education due to their health problems, hospital classes are opened with the proposal of the provincial or district special education services within the hospitals and the Governor's Office upon the appropriate opinion of the Ministry of Health.

Homeschooling: In accordance with the written request of the parent and the report of the Special Education Evaluation Board and the planning of the provincial or district special education services board, home education services can be given during the school year for students who are in need of special education for compulsory education age may not benefit from formal education institutions for at least twelve weeks due to health problems or if they benefit from at least one health risk.

Science and art centers: The institutions for students, who continue their formal education and are specially gifted in the fields of general mental, visual arts or musical talent opened to provide support education services in order to enable them to use their capacities at the highest level by developing their skills.

The responsibility for adult education is given to the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning with No. 1 Presidential Decree. Following tasks are given to the general directorate:

Except for compulsory cases, to create policies to continue to promote life by implementing, monitoring and evaluating the applications and to conduct open education with formal education and training services.

It has entered the formal education system and education in general or vocational and technical education areas separated by non-formal education or has completed the training stage.

Textbooks, educational tools, and materials are prepared or submitted to the Board of Turkish Education in formal education and training schools and institutions of education and training programs.

To carry out services related to widespread private education institutions.

Adult education in Turkey also constitutes the following principles.

To teach literacy, to prepare continuous education opportunities to complete their education deficient, To encourage scientific, technological, economic, social and cultural development to facilitate training opportunities to ensure compliance, To provide education that serves protecting, developing and promoting our national cultural values, To gain understanding and habits of living together, solidarity, cooperation, collaboration and organization, To prepare to obtain appropriate professional provider facilities in line with the development of the economy and the employment policy, To gain the necessary skills and knowledge for development for those working in various professions, To provide evaluation and use their leisure time habits, To establish a system of Prior Learning Recognition, To develop lifelong guidance and counselling system

Mass Education Institutions; Adult Education Centers, Public Schools (Open Education Secondary School, Open High School, Vocational Open Education High School, Vocational and Technical Open Education School, Open Imam Hatip High Schools).

YÖK Disabled Student Commission

"Higher Education Institutions Disabled Counseling and Coordination Regulation" has been published by the Council of Higher Education in accordance with the Law No. In accordance with the aforementioned regulation, a Disabled Student Commission was established within the Institution by the Presidency of the Council of Higher Education and has been continuing its activities since 2006.

Educational resources and processes, scholarship and accommodation services, administrative services, physical space arrangements, social activities, etc. for disabled students enrolled in higher education programs. Disabled Student Units have been established in all higher education institutions in order to identify the needs and problems of students with disabilities in subjects and fields and to offer solutions.

In order to facilitate and increase the access of persons with disabilities to higher education and to ensure their full and effective participation in education, new associate, undergraduate and graduate programs are opened in the fields needed; legislative studies are carried out; In addition to these, workshops are held in order to increase awareness in higher education institutions and to disseminate good practice examples, and Barrier-Free University Awards are given for incentive purposes.

The decisions taken by the Council of Higher Education, workshop reports, the list of universities that received the Barrier-Free University Award, current news and announcements can be accessed on the website of the Disabled Student Commission for the disabled at

Exam Services for Disabled Student Candidates at Entrance to Higher Education

Selection and placement of disabled candidates are made by considering the type of disability, degree of disability, scores and preferences. The degrees of disability stated in the reports of the health board are examined by the Measurement and Placement Center Presidency (ÖSYM), and whether the candidates will be subjected to a separate selection and placement process due to their disability is determined according to the results of these examinations. Exam result documents of the candidates who are processed by taking into consideration the type and degree of disability in the evaluation process are also issued accordingly. Detailed information on exam applications for candidates with disabilities/health problems are included in the guide of the relevant exam. Non-Formal Education Activities in Higher Education Institutions.

In higher education institutions, programs aiming to gain knowledge, skills and competence in different fields are carried out for all segments of society as well as disadvantaged groups. These programs and activities are summarized below:

Continuing Education Application and Research Centers


Continuing education centers operating within higher education institutions provide training for all segments of the society within the scope of lifelong learning. Apart from academic programs, these centers allow cooperation with various segments of society, public institutions, private sector and international organizations, providing courses, seminars, conferences, vocational training programs, certificate programs, corporate trainings, language trainings for every age group and on every subject needed. and personal development trainings are organized. Participation certificate, certificate of achievement and certificate are given to those who participate in such activities and training programs and are successful; Training is usually paid.

Open and Distance Education Programs

Open education and distance education programs are very important for disadvantaged individuals who cannot continue formal education for any reason. Anadolu University Open Education Faculty and Atatürk University Open Education Faculty open education associate degree and undergraduate programs, while both open and distance education associate and undergraduate programs are carried out in Istanbul University and Ankara University Open and Distance Education Faculty.

Programs Under the Second University

The Second University programs, which allow those who have graduated from a university or are currently studying in a program, to register without taking any exam, are carried out at Anadolu University, Atatürk University and Istanbul University, which have Open Education and Open and Distance Education Faculties.

Associate degree program graduates or students can enroll in associate degree programs, undergraduate program graduates or students can enroll in both associate degree and undergraduate programs (provided that they are different from the program they are studying or graduated from). These programs can be accessed from the websites of the relevant universities.