Galatasaray High School: The Republican Era
Even though some students of Mektebi Sultani (Galatasaray Imperial High School) who volunteered to join the Turkish War of Independence did not return from the front, the national victory was received with great joy at the school just like everywhere else. From that point, the school took its place as one of the modern educational institutions of the young republic, with the name Galatasaray High School. While the elementary schools that had been providing religious education, such as madrasas and religious minority schools, were closed in accordance with the Unification of Education Act, Galatasaray High School remained open due to its secular character that had been maintained since 1868. Cultural courses began to be taught in Turkish. Atatürk, who placed great importance on education, visited the school twice, demonstrating the regard he had for the institution; what’s more, most of the parliamentarians around him were graduates of Galatasaray High School. Additionally, becoming co-educational, as prescribed by modern education, saw Galatasaray lead the way for other well-established schools that had continued their conservative attitudes on this matter until the recent past. In 1968, President of France, Charles de Gaulle, visited the school to mark the 100th anniversary of Mektebi Sultani. In 1975, the school acquired the status of Anatolian High School, with the period of study being reduced to eight years based on implementations conducted by the Ministry of Education. Finally, in accordance with a protocol that was signed by the President of France, François Mitterrand, and the 8th Turkish President, Turgut Özal, on April 14, 1992, Galatasaray Integrated Educational Institution (Galatasaray Eğitim Öğretim Kurumu) began to provide education, with the inclusions of the elementary school which had been closed since 1969, and a university unit.
Galatasaray Integrated Educational Institution was transformed into Galatasaray University under Law no. 3993, which came into effect after it was published in Official Gazette no. 21952 on June 6, 1994. Although the institution acquired the status of a university, it retained its standing as an integrated educational institution; thus, Galatasaray High School, as well as the elementary school under it, was defined as educational units governed by the Office of the President (K.m.1).