Istanbul University; According to records, the university dates back to 1453, the day of the conquest, on May 30 1453
and the subsequent construction of a complex at are considered to be the first steps in the establishment of the university. According to Russian academic, Danishavski, Istanbul University has one of the oldest Medical schools in the world.
During the Ottoman Empire, the madrasas established on the orders of Sultan Bayezid, SUltan Selim I, and Sultan Suleyman were considered to be prestigious universities, renowned for their law schools, and studies in litarature and the natural sciences.
The proces of Westernization which began after the Islahat and Tanzimat eras, was reflected in the educational instutions, and it was thought that ignorance was the root of Ottoman defeat in all walks of life. A royal decree stating the principle “Progres can only be realized through education” led to the establishment of the Darülfunun, a type of university which is now considered to be the date for the establishment of Istanbul University (23 July 1846)
The name of this instution was later changed to Darülfunun- u Osmani (Ottoman school of Sciences), and reopned on February 20 1870. The third opening, as Darülfunun-i Sultani, began in the Galatasaray building in 1874, with classes offered in literature, law and applied sciences. After the accesion of Abdulhamid II to the throne on September I, 1890, the fourth Darulfunun, called Darülfünun-u Şahane was reorganized, now offering courses in mathematics, literature and theology.
Istanbul Darülfununu (Istanbul Academy of Science): After the second reform on April 20, 1912, Istanbul Darülfununu was firmly established; it was given schools of medicine, law, applied sciences, literature and theology. Its administrative autonomy was granted in 1919 with another regulation.
On April 21, 1924, the Republic of Turkey recognized the Istanbul Darülfununu as a legal entity, and October 7, 1925, the administrative autonomy of Istanbul Darülfununu was recognized, with the madrasas becoming modern “Faculities.”
On August 1, 1933, Istanbul Darülfünunu was reorganized as Istanbul University with a new staff and structure. Classes officially began in “the first modern university in Turkey” in 1933, on the 10th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
The Old Palace used to be located in the current position of the University, during the reign of Mehmed II. Later, after the construction of Topkapi Palace, the Ministry of Defense was moved here.
Beyazıt Tower is located on the grounds of the main Beyazıt campus; it was built as a look-out tower to spot fires for a city that suffered many great conflagrations. The original Beyazıt Tower was rebuilt in its current from in 1828, during the resign of Sultan Mahmud II, by the Balyan family. The 50 meter high tower is truly a monumental structure.
The tower was used by the military during the reign of Mahmud II, and is currently in use as the office of the rector of the university. The main entrance gate of Istanbul University, which has became the symbol of the university, was built in the 19th century. The inscriptions on the gate, which reflect the architectural structure of the era, were written by the famous calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa Pasha.