History of the School


Feyziye Mektepleri Vakfı Işık School was founded in Thessalonica in 1885 when, led by Tevfik Efendi, several prominent Turkish families set about establishing a modern Turkish school for their children. The school, named "Feyz-i Sıbyan", initially housed fifty students in four classrooms.

It quickly grew in stature and popularity, and soon a middle school and high school were added. By the beginning of the new century the school, by this time known as 'Feyziye', was welcoming children and young people from kindergarten to high school, and functioning in modern well-equipped buildings. In a short while, graduates of Feyziye began assuming prominent roles in the city, providing it with mayors, engineers, doctors and noted businessmen. These years marked the heyday of Feyziye in Thessalonica and were to last until the Balkan Wars. Many Feyziye administrators moved to Istanbul after the post-war Greek invasion, and continued to oversee the school in Thessalonica from Istanbul. The Balkan Wars were followed by the First World War, and a new Feyziye School was opened in Beyazıt in Istanbul under the administration of the famous educator, Nakiye Elgün. Just as with the parent school in Thessalonica, Feyziye in Istanbul set out to provide education in a modern context. By 1923, all students in Thessalonica were transferred to the school in the motherland and the school in Thessalonica closed. 

Soon, the buildings in Beyazıt proved insufficient, and a move was made to the rented Naciye Sultan Mansion in Teşvikiye. Within a short time, the building and its premises were purchased. December 17th 1934 marked the 50th anniversary of the school, and with Ataturk's official approval, the board's decision to rename Feyziye as 'Işık' was ratified. In 1955-56, work towards the official creation of a foundation was completed, and following a series of renovations, the school in Nişantaşı finally became a modern institution. Over time, with school growth, these facilities too became insufficient in meeting the Foundation's needs.  The Ayazağa campus was built in 1986, followed by the construction of Işık University in 1996.  2000 marked the opening of the Erenköy campus; and in 2003, the Şile Campus of Işık University was inaugurated to provide for the higher education needs of Işık Youth. At present, the Foundation owns ten schools and one university, with a total enrolment of around 7,500 students. Each school campus has a Kindergarten (for ages 36-60 months), an elementary school (grades 1-8) and a high school (grades 9-12 with a preparatory year of intensive English before grade 9.)