Principals

M. DE SALVE

(August 20, 1868 to December 22, 1871) M. De Salve was the first principal of the school. The French Government appointed the respected teacher and school administrator, M. De Salve, on the appeal of the Ottoman Government after the decision was made to open the Mektebi Sultani (Imperial High School) as a language high school. He was the first person to form an organizational structure in the establishment process of the school. Shielded by Grand Vizier Ali Pasha, M. De Salve bravely overcame the initial challenges of the establishment process. However, following the death of Ali Pasha, he was left unprotected and underwent severe attacks. As a result, he returned to his country after his three-year contract expired. He was later appointed as the National Education Minister of Algeria.

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2-vahan-bey.jpg VAHAN EFENDİ

(April 15, 1872 to May 28, 1873) Vahan Efendi was appointed as the Undersecretary of the Justice and the Principal of Sultani on April 15, 1872, simultaneously after having served in various positions at the justice department of the Ottoman Empire for many years. However, even after this appointment, the school was administered by M. Granet, as was the case after M. De Salve left. Vahan Efendi was not able to focus on the school or visit enough during his 13-month tenure due to his having to attend to important duties at the justice department. Vahan Efendi was known for his coercive measures such as suspending approximately 150 students on the grounds, saying that they were “lazy and rogue and could not be educated,” resulting from the works of a commission of teachers he had formed after his appointment. His combined lack of interest and coercive measures saw a reduction in student numbers. He left his post on May 28, 1873.

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3-fotyadi-bey.jpg FOTYADİ BEY

(May 29, 1873to May 26, 1874) Fotyadi Bey was the third Principal of Sultani. He was appointed as principal of the school after serving in various posts in the bureaucracy on May 29, 1873. Unlike Vahan Efendi, he had a softer demeanor; however, he did not make any significant improvements to the school during his one-year tenure. Later, he was appointed as the Governor of Sisam. He also spoke advanced levels of Turkish and French.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4-sava-pasa.jpg SAVA PASHA

(May 27, 1874to January 26, 1876) Sava Pasha, a graduate of medical school who held various administrative and judicial positions, was appointed as the Principal of Sultani on May 27, 1874. A civil engineering school and law school were established during his tenure. The engineering school was relegated to the level of the Roads and Bridges Engineering Faculty. Sava Pasha left his post on January 26, 1876 and was initially appointed as the Mediterranean Islands Governor and then Foreign Minister. After his retirement, he moved to Paris where he later died.

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5-ali-suavi.jpg ALİ SÜAVİ

(January 27, 1876 to November 28, 1877) Known as a brilliant, lively, and intellectual who could speak four languages, Ali Suavi initially worked as a teacher in various schools before becoming a journalist by publishing a newspaper called Muhbir (Reporter). He preached at the mosques, criticizing the sultanate and winning recognition from the public before entering politics by joining the Young Ottomans. He was then arrested and sent into exile in Kastamonu. He escaped to Europe where he continued his work in journalism. Upon his return to the country, he was appointed as the first Turkish Principal of Mektebi Sultani on January 27, 1876. Ali Suavi failed to make any significant progress as an educator and eventually became a follower of the cause, despite his initial criticism to the opening of the school on the grounds that it would increase the influence of French.

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6-ali-nizami-pasa.jpg ALİ NİZAMİ PASHA

(December 1, 1877 to March 31, 1878) Ali Nizami Pasha was principal at the “School of Ottoman” in Paris after being promoted to Lieutenant General in the army. He then became the Head of the Civil School. In this period, he was given the task of investigating certain issues that occurred during Ali Suavi’s term at the school. He wrote a very long report on the results of the investigation and was then appointed to the position of Principal of Sultani on December 1, 1877. He resigned three months later in a brave bid objecting to the payment of teacher salaries with paper notes rather than gold coins. He did not make any other significant contributions to the school. After he left, he worked at various levels within the military where he reached the rank of marshal.

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7-halil-bey.jpg HALİL BEY

(April 1, 1878 to October 1, 1879) Halil Efendi was trained in foreign affairs and held various posts in the correspondence and documentation agency before being appointed as Principal of Sultani on April 1, 1878. During his tenure, he re-opened the law and the bridges and roads engineering schools that had been closed and reopened many times in the past, alongside the literature school. Even though he was not an educator, he made the proved knowledge of Turkish, which was already included in the curriculum and diplomas, a prerequisite of graduation in 1878, in addition to French. He did this in order to increase the importance of Turkish education at the school. 

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karaca_pasa.jpg KARACA PASHA

(October 2, 1879 to October 3, 1880) Karaca Pasha was appointed as Principal of Sultani on October 2, 1879 after having worked as a civil servant in various institutions, such as the foreign and national defense ministries. A year after his appointment, he was assigned to the membership of the Council of State and left the school. Later, he worked as Ambassador to Stockholm and to The Hague where he lost his life. A man of fairly benign personality, Karaca Pasha was, however, able to speak several languages with confidence, specifically French and German.

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8-ismail-bey.jpg İSMAİL BEY

(October 4, 1880 to January 20, 1894) İsmail Bey was appointed as Principal of Sultani in late 1880. Prior to his appointment, he worked at the foreign affairs ministry for an extended period, where he reached the position of undersecretary. Up until his appointment, the school records had been kept in French; however, in 1881 he changed this practice to keeping the records in Turkish. He also formed a commission to improve the educational processes at the school in the same year. German became available as an elective course and a small observatory was established within the school. He remained in his post for 14 years, much longer than previous principals. He used his tenure in a very positive way, making fundamental changes in the educational practices and administration. He established a proper discipline in the school by eliminating the authority vacuum caused by the frequent change of principals. He died of a heart attack in the principal housing on January 20, 1894.

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9-abdurrahman-seref.jpg ABDURRAHMAN ŞEREF

(February 1, 1894 to July 21, 1908) Abdurrahman Şeref Bey, one of the first Turkish graduates of Sultani, began his career in education and worked as a teacher in various schools, including Sultani. He was principal of the Civil School for 16 years and made a number of significant improvements during that period. He was appointed as Principal of Mektebi Sultani on February 1, 1894 on the condition that he continue teaching history and geography at the Civil School. He was very much loved and respected at the school thanks to his calm and compassionate manner and succeeded in preventing interventions by the autocratic government. He protected the freedoms within the school just as he had done at the Civil School. After working as principal for a little over 14 years, Abdurrahman Şeref Bey left Sultani when he was appointed as General Director of Land Registry and Cadaster on July 21, 1908, following the declaration of the Second Constitutional Monarchy. During his term, there was a fire at the school. Abdurrahman Şeref Bey worked in various prestigious positions within the Education Ministry, such as the General Director of Foundations, Mails, and Telegraph, as well as President of the Council of State and Deputy Chief of the Chamber of Senate. He was elected as a deputy from Istanbul to the Turkish national parliament following the declaration of the Republic. He died in 1925 and was buried at the Merkez Efendi graveyard. Peace and stability were only established in Mektebi Sultani during the terms of Ismail Bey and Abdurrahman Şeref Bey.

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10-emrullah-bey.jpg EMRULLAH BEY

(July 30, 1908 to August 10, 1908) Having worked as a civil servant in various posts at the Education Ministry, Emrullah Bey was appointed as Principal of Sultani on July 30, 1908 following the declaration of the Second Constitutional Monarchy. He remained in this post for only 10 days and was dismissed on August 10, 1908. He died in 1914 after serving as a member of the parliament and education minister. He was a calm and intellectual person, but was known to be absent-minded.

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11-mustafa-azmi.jpg MUSTAFA AZMİ

(August 11, 1908 to December 4, 1908) Mustafa Azmi Bey, a graduate of Sultani and the civil schools, began working as an Ottoman language teacher at Mektebi Sultani in 1883. He provided educational services for many years before being appointed as Principal of Sultani on August 10, 1908. However, he remained in this post for only four months and resigned after being elected as a deputy from Preveza province. Mustafa Azmi Bey was recognized as a very valuable educator and administrator.

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12-tevfik-fikret.jpg TEVFİK FİKRET

(December 28, 1908 to April 09, 1910) Tevfik Fikret Bey graduated from Mektebi Sultani as the top-scoring student of his class in 1888 and then worked at various schools and posts for several years. He passed the exam to become the Ottoman language teacher of Mektebi Sultani (a very competitive field). He initially worked as a Turkish teacher for the third grade and was then appointed as the literature teacher after Muallim Naci passed away. In this period, he began publishing his poems in several literature magazines, most notably in the Servet-i Fünun (Wealth of Sciences). For a while, he quit Sultani to teach Turkish and literature courses at Robert College. He was appointed as Principal of Sultani on December 28, 1908. He commenced his tenure a year during the construction of the new building, after the fire that had devastated Galatasaray’s main building in Beyoğlu. In that time, the school was temporarily moved to Beylerbeyi. Tevfik Fikret succeeded in completing the construction of the new building in a short time and, during this process, a number of important facilities such as a conference room, physics lecture hall, library, and laboratories were added. Even though his innovative and progressive practices caused problems for some, they failed to take any further action at the time of Abdurrahman Şeref Bey’s (the former principal of the school) and Nail Bey’s (his successor) terms of education minister. Emrullah Efendi’s appointment as education minister after these two open-minded educators, Tevfik Fikret began feeling disturbed at his post and left it on April 09, 1910. Besides being a reliable man of high moral standards, Tevfik Fikret made enormous contributions to Turkish literature where he gained prominence and proved to be a brilliant educator during his short tenure at the school. He is known as one of the best principals of Mektebi Sultani.

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13-salih-zeki.jpg SALİH ZEKİ

(March 23, 1910 to July 7, 1912) Salih Zeki Bey, a great mathematician, was appointed as Principal of Sultani on March 23, 1910. Before Sultani, he worked as a teacher in various schools, as well as in a number of technical positions in the observatory and the Post and Telegraph Ministry. He remained as Principal of the school for three years, resigning on July 7, 1912. Salih Zeki Bey was appointed as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education on July 27, 1912 and then as the President of the university in 1914. He published a number of academic articles. He passed away on July 2, 1921.

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14-salih-arif.jpg SALİH ARİF

(July 14, 1912 to December 30, 1922) Salih Arif Bey graduated from the school in 1891 after which he studied at the law school. Before he was appointed as principal on July 14, 1912, he worked at the Justice Ministry and then the Education Ministry, as a teacher in a number of schools, and lastly, as the Deputy Principal of Sultani. The term of Salih Arif Bey, who established a strictly disciplined management at the school, corresponded with a fragile period marked with the defeat of the Ottomans in World War I. Salih Arif Bey protected Mektebi Sultani during the occupation of Istanbul and became a guardian for young people whose fathers were in exile in Malta or travelled to Anatolia to join the War of Independence. He raised many young children in the service of the country. In those difficult days, he ensured the continuation of normal and uninterrupted education at Sultani. Salih Arif Bey is remembered with gratitude because of his services to the school. He served at Galatasaray for 14 years, including two years as deputy principal and over 11 years as principal. He resigned from his position on December 30, 1922. He was a highly respected educator who could speak several languages. 

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15-avnizade-hasan-tahsin.jpg AYNİZADE HASAN TAHSİN

(January 1, 1923 to February 24, 1923) Hasan Tahsin Bey was appointed as acting principal on January 1, 1923 after having worked as a teacher and principal in various schools, and as Undersecretary of the Finance Ministry. He left the school after only a short time, on February 24, 1923, to work as a scholar at the Civil School and Law School. He published a number of academic articles.

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16-faik-bey.jpg FAİK BEY

(February 24, 1923 to January 31, 1924) Faik Bey graduated from the school in 1891 and began his career as a teacher. He worked as the deputy principal and supervisor at the school before being appointed to the principal post on February 24, 1923. He left his post on January 31, 1924. The declaration of the Republic came during his term. He spent his 41-year public service career in education and contributed to the education of numerous young people. He gained an enormous amount of respect from his students.

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17-bedri-bey.jpg BEDRİ BEY

(01.02.1924 - 08.05.1924) Graduated from Galatasaray High School with the class of 1904, continued his education in Law School and was comissioned for some time as State Department Notary Translator. Then he has been a teacher at Royal Collleges of Uskudar and Kabatas. Becoming the first Principal and French teacher of Nishantashi Numune Mektebi, he was later sent to Galatasaray High School Deputy Principal in 1914 and after this mission he has been the Education Director at Bursa for a while. Bedri Bey has been appointed again as Deputy Principal when Faik Bey was Principal in our school, and after his departure Bedri Bey became Principal. Bedri Bey was promoted to Ministry of Education General Inspector.

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18-behcet-gucer.jpg BEHÇET GÜÇER

(May 9, 1924 to September 1, 1929) Behçet Güçer graduated from the school in 1904 and commenced studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He began his career in the public service as an educator and worked as a teacher and principal at a number of schools. He became a history professor at the Faculty of Literature and was appointed as a member of the History Council in 1924. In May of the same year, he was appointed as principal of Galatasaray High School on the condition that he continue his existing duties at the university. In addition to these duties, he was appointed as the provincial director of national education of Istanbul. During his term at the school, he established a banking and trade department, transferred lecturers from France and made changes to the curriculum. Toward the end of 1929, he was elected to the parliament as a deputy from Maraş province.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------19-fethi-isfendiyaroglu.jpg FETHİ İSMAİL BEY (İSFENDİYAROĞLU)

(September 1, 1929 to April 9, 1933) Fethi İsfendiyaroğlu began his career in 1914 when he graduated from the school. He worked as a teacher, first in the elementary and then in the secondary schools of Mektebi Sultani. He taught French in Nişantaşı and Istanbul Schools for a while and was then appointed as Turkish and French teacher at the Galatasaray High School in 1922. He became the chief deputy principal of the high school in January 1914, then deputy principal in October 1925 and finally acting principal of the school at the end of 1928. He was appointed as principal on September 1, 1929. During his term, the “Courthouse,” which is known today as The Chateau,” was granted to the school and he opened a branch with a capacity for 300 people in Ortaköy in early 1931.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------20-tevfik-ararat.jpg  TEVFİK ARARAT

(April 10, 1933 to December 16, 1933) Tevfik Ararat held various positions within education, such as the Paris Student Inspector and Provincial Director of Education in Istanbul. In 1933, he was appointed as principal of Galatasaray High School. His assignment broke the longstanding tradition of appointing graduates into the position. His first decision as principal was to replace the tambour, an instrument that was in use for 65 years and had value for former students, with bells. Tevfik Ararat left the school on December 16, 1933. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------21-behcet-gucer.jpg   BEHÇET GÜCER

(December 17, 1933 to November 2, 1950) Behçet Gücer was appointed as principal of Galatasaray for the second time and remained in the post for 17 years, a record for the school. He formed an administrative system based on kindness, respect and discipline thanks to collaborations with distinguished assistant principals, such as the highly-respected deputy principal İzzet Hamit Ün, and with the teachers. He re-established the dignity and authority of the principal position and complaints diminished. He retired on November 2, 1950. He published several books, including “Great States and Neighboring Countries” published in 1939.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------22-fethi-isfendiyaroglu.jpg FETHİ İSFENDİYAROĞLU

(July 4, 1951 to March 12, 1952) Chief Deputy Principal İzzet Ün worked as acting principal for seven months in a challenging period following the retirement of Behçet Gücer. Fethi İsfendiyaroğlu was appointed as principal for the second time in July 1951. However, he resigned after eight months following a number of incidents that brought the authority of the principal into question. He wrote the first volume of The History of Galatasaray.

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23-besim-gurmen.jpg BESİM GÜRMEN

(March 13, 1952 to July 6, 1952) Appointed to inspect the school with full mandate, Mr. Besim Gürmen tried to repair the damage caused by the resignation of Fethi İsfendiyaroğlu. However, he returned to his main job as inspector a little over 3 months later.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------24-macit-saner.jpg MACİT SANER

(July 7, 1952 to May 1, 1959) Graduated from the school’s literature department in 1935, Macit Saner worked as a teacher and principal in various schools and was appointed as principal of Galatasaray in July 1952. He remained in the post for seven years and passed away in Germany on May 1, 1959. His deputy principal Rıdvan Korur worked as acting principal for about two months.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------25-ali-teoman.jpg     ALİ TEOMAN

(July 10, 1959 to November 2, 1966) Graduating from the science department of the school in 1924, Ali Teoman worked as assistant principal and teacher at the Galatasaray High School, and as principal and teacher at various other schools. He was also Student Inspector in Paris and the Provincial Director of National Education in Istanbul. He was appointed as principal of Galatasaray High School on July 10, 1959 and retired on November 2, 1966. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------26-muhittin-sandikcioglu.jpg    MUHİTTİN SANDIKÇIOĞLU

(November 3, 1966 to 1970) Graduating from the literature department of the high school in 1929, Muhiddin Sandıkçıoğlu worked as a teacher and deputy principal in Galatasaray, Boğaziçi and Kabataş High Schools after he completed Law School. He then worked as a teacher in Kabul War Academy in Afghanistan as well as Galatasaray, Nişantaşı and Işık High Schools before he was appointed as deputy principal of Galatasaray High School. On November 3, 1966, he was appointed as principal of Galatasaray High School. The 100th anniversary of Galatasaray High School and visit to the school by General De Gaulle, the then president of France, took place during his term.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------27-muzaffer-kosuloglu.jpg MUZAFFER KOŞULOĞLU 

(1970–1976) Graduating from Galatasaray High School in 1945, Muzaffer Koşuloğlu worked as a French teacher in the National Education Ministry and was appointed as principal of Galatasaray High School in 1970 when he was working as the General Director of Secondary Education. He left his post after being appointed as Student Inspector in Belgium in 1976.

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28-osman-guney.jpg OSMAN GÜNEY 

(1976–1980) Osman Güney was appointed as school principal in 1976 during a challenging period for the country, after having worked as a French teacher for many years at the school. His term ended in 1980.

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29-sukru-sari.jpg ŞÜKRÜ SARI 

(1980–1982) Şükrü Sarı graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1947. He was principal at various schools of the National Education Ministry and was appointed to the position at Galatasaray High School in 1980. In the same year, the Galatasaray alumni launched a proposal to form a foundation for the re-organization of the school’s management structure. Şükrü Sarı retired from his post in 1982. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------30-sureyya-gunay.jpg  SÜREYYA GÜNAY 

(1982–1987) Graduating from Galatasaray High School in 1942, Süreyya Günay was appointed as Principal of Galatasaray High School in 1982 after having worked at the General Directorate of External Affairs of the National Education Ministry. Süreyya Günay retired from his post in 1987.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------31-yildizhan-yayla.jpg  YILDIZHAN YAYLA 

(1987–1992) Prof. Dr. Yıldızhan Yayla graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1956. After completing his higher education at the Law School of Istanbul University he received his PhD from the Public Administration department. He became an assistant professor of Administrative Law in 1974 and a professor in 1982. He was appointed as Deputy Dean of the Political Science Department of Istanbul University in the same year. He also became Vice President of the same university in 1986. In 1987, he was appointed as Principal of Galatasaray High School. He resigned from his post after being appointed as President of the Galatasaray Education Institution in 1992. He worked as the President of Galatasaray University from 1993 until 2000.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------32-erdogan-tezic.jpg  ERDOĞAN TEZİÇ 

(1992–2000) Erdoğan Teziç was born in Istanbul in 1936 and graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1955. He completed his higher education at the Law School of Istanbul University and was hired as an assistant in the same department right after his graduation. He went to Paris to study after winning a scholarship from the French Government (1962). He obtained his PhD (Constitution and Political Science) from Paris Law School (1965). On his return, he became an assistant professor (1970) and a professor (1981) in the Constitutional Law department of the Law Faculty of Istanbul University. While he was head of the Constitutional Law department of Istanbul University’s Law Faculty, he was appointed as Principal of Galatasaray High School on February 15, 1993. This took place after Prof. Yıldızhan Yayla resigned from the position to become president of the Galatasaray Education Institute. He was a player for, and captain of the school team, Galatasaray Sports Club and national volleyball team for years. He worked as Principal of Galatasaray High School and Vice President of Galatasaray University from 1992 to 2000. He was also the legal advisor to the speaker of the Turkish parliament. He was appointed as President of Galatasaray University on July 1, 2000.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------33-ethem-tolga.jpg  ETHEM TOLGA 

(2000–2001) ETHEM TOLGA was born in Aksaray in 1950 and graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1969. He completed his higher education in industrial engineering at the Mechanical Engineering Department of ITU in 1973 and received his Master’s degree (1975) and his PhD (1979) from the same school. He became an assistant professor at the Industrial Engineering Department at the Business School of ITU in 1982. He earned the title of assistant professor in the Industrial Engineering department in 1984 and the professor title in 1990. He worked as the Deputy Dean of the Business School of ITU. He also held the position of department head in Industrial Engineering Department in the Business School of ITU, published three books and 55 international articles. After April 1993, he worked as the Dean of the Engineering and Technology School at Galatasaray University and was also vice-principal. He was appointed as Principal of Galatasaray University on January 14, 2008. He is also a member of the Science Board of TUBITAK.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 34-gun-kurt.jpg GÜN KUT 

(2002–2007) GÜN KUT was born in 1957 in Istanbul and graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1976. He completed his higher education at the Political Science Department of the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University in 1981. He received his Master’s degree (1985) and PhD (1987) from Binghamton Department of Political Science from the State University of New York in the U.S. He worked as a research assistant (1982–1983), a teaching assistant (1983–1986) and a lecturer (1986–1987) at the Binghamton Department of Political Science at State University of New York. He also worked as a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science of University of Minnesota (summer of 1995). He worked as an assistant professor between 1988 and 1998 at the Political Science and International Relations Department at the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University. He was appointed to the Galatasaray University under the 38th Article of the Higher Education Law on January 15, 2002, and then as Principal of Galatasaray High School on February 11, 2002. He remained in the position until January 16, 2007.

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35-meral-mercan.jpg MERAL MERCAN

(2007–present) Meral Mercan is among the first nine female students admitted to the Galatasaray High School. She graduated from the French and Roman Languages and Literature Department of the Literature School of Istanbul University and has earned the title of French Philologist. She can speak Italian and Greek besides French. She began working as a French teacher in 1982 and taught French in various schools such as Anadoluhisarı Business High School, Ayvancık High School, and Cağaloğlu Anatolian High School. In 1987, she was appointed as a French teacher at Kabataş High School where she became assistant principal in 1992 and then chief deputy principal. In 2005, she was appointed as the Deputy Principal of Galatasaray High School and became acting principal on January 16, 2007. Later, she was appointed as principal on October 24, 2007.