The History of ‘Private Italian High School’

During the Ottoman Empire period, trade was carried out in Galata and its surroundings and on the shores of the Golden Horn, with the special permissions taken from the Sultan by the Genovese, Venetians, and Sicilians. Wealthy families in the Italian communities, which are in this region for aforementioned reasons, prefer private teachers in their children’s education; however, the children of families whose financial situation was not suitable could only take lessons from Catholic clergy. ‘Private Italian High School’ was one of 16 schools opened in Istanbul between 1861-1912 to meet this need and provide education in Italian .

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  1. Società Operaia di Mutuo Soccorso per l’Assistenza, affiliated to the Italian Government, which was an actively working institution in Istanbul in the late 19th century, pioneered the opening of the Royal primary and secondary school (Regia Scuola Elementare e Media), which started teaching in 1885. In 1885, the Italian Trade Center was added to this school. In those years, the center, which awarded a Technical School diploma at the end of a three-year education, increased its level by switching to a four-year education in 1900. Students graduating from this high school, which allowed education with the title of ‘Commercial High School’ in 1885, were able to enroll in commercial higher education institutions of the Italian Kingdom. In 1910, the school, where Latin lessons were given, was officially opened to Turkish students.

Although the education at the school was interrupted as a result of the Tripoli War that began in 1911, it continued later on. Along with the secondary school education, the Italian High School program, professional development course, Trade Center Education and foreign language preparatory class programs for students transferring from schools (where mother tongue was not Italian) were also implemented in the location of the high school building that exists today. With the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1924, foreign schools serving in Turkey were officially recognized on equal terms with Turkish schools, and the Italian High School became one of these. As of 1996, first the “Professional Development Course” and then the training of the Technical Trade Center were stopped gradually.

Today, Italian High School is a private high school that is directly affiliated with the state and provides four-year education. In addition, there is a secondary school within the school, which entered into force in 1997 and started to serve students in the 2003-2004 academic years. Turkish or dual citizenship Turkish students cannot attend here; only Italian and foreign students can enroll in accordance with the aforementioned law no. 4306.

What is Private Italian High School Education?