Darüşşafaka Society

Equal Opportunity in Education Since 1863

Being the first non-governmental organization operating in the field of education, the Darüşşafaka Society has been active since 1863, remaining loyal to its mission of “equal opportunity in education”.

Lexically meaning “home of compassion”, Darüşşafaka takes on talented orphaned children with limited financial means when they are ten years old and providing them with an opportunity for education at international standards, and raising them as thinking, questioning, self-confident, and assertive individuals who are aware of their responsibilities towards society.

Never-Ending Story

Aiming to raise students with 21st-century skills, Darüşşafaka provides education employing the use of tablet computers. Today, around 1,000 students selected through an exam from all corners of Turkey are offered college education with full scholarship and boarding for a period of eight years from the 5th grade till high school graduation at Darüşşafaka Schools in Maslak, Istanbul. The Society also gives scholarships to its graduates who pass the university exam.

Light Kept On Since 1863 With The Support Of Lovers Of The Enlightened Turkey!

All opportunities made available for our kids at Darüşşafaka Schools are funded by donations from individuals, institutions, and organizations to the Society. With the support of numerous persons and entities passionate about the enlightened future of Turkey, such as Atatürk’s mother Zübeyde Hanım, sister Makbule Atadan, and adopted daughter Nebile İrdelp, Sait Faik Abasıyanık, and Türkiye İş Bankası (İşbank), the Society is providing our children with the right to “equal opportunity in education”.

Lives Changing With Education

Mathematician Salih Zeki, pioneer of ultrasonography Prof. Dr. Adnan Sokullu, artist Mahmut Cûda, Muhittin Sebati, a milestone in Turkish literature Ahmet Rasim, the first child psychiatrist of Turkey Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Cebiroğlu, mathematician Mehmet İzzet, literary critic Berna Moran, composer Kazım Uz, a man of letters İsmail Safa, Osman Nuri Ergin who started contemporary municipalism studies in Turkey and produced quality works by scientifically analyzing the then-current functioning of the Ottoman-Turkish urbanism and municipalism history for the first time in Turkey, theatre player and actor İhsan Devrim, Undersecretary to Prime Ministry and Secretary General of President Necdet Seçkinöz, civil engineer and a leading name in the world of education Fettah Aytaç, actor and director Tolga Aşkıner, caricaturist Tekin Aral, musician Reşat Aysu, basketball player, coach and journalist Yalçın Granit and many more…

All have lost their fathers at a small age, and their financial means did not allow them even to go to school, let alone receive a decent education. And they had the chance to receive education with compassion at Darüşşafaka thanks to the donations collected from philanthropists by the Society with the idea that each child has the right to receive a good education. They stepped into a new world with the education they received, and changed the fate of not only themselves, but also their families, and marked the future of their country through key roles assumed.

This is the motive underlying the services offered by the Darüşşafaka Society since 1863!

From The Training Of Grand Bazaar Craftsmen To The Cutting-Edge Education Of Its Era

Founded by an edict of the Sultan on 30 March 1863 by Ghazi Ahmet Muhtar Pasha, Tevfik Pasha of Vidin, Ahmet Esat Pasha of Chios, and Ali Nâki Effendi under the leadership of Yusuf Ziya Pasha, a leading mathematician, soldier, and statesman of that era, the original objective of the Society was to fund the training of young craftsmen of the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul. Having the old Valide School in Beyazıt repaired, the Society enlisted plenty of intellectuals of the era, also including the national poet Namık Kemal, to serve as volunteer teachers at the new school. While only old barracks or mansions were being used as school buildings in the Ottoman State, the Society, in 1868, initiated the construction of the first original school building in the history of Turkey. The school building designed by the Italian architect Barironi and planned by Ohannes Kalfa, the chief architect of Dolmabahçe Palace, was built on the land in Fatih, Istanbul purchased by money donated by Sultan Abdülaziz. Embodying facilities ahead of the time that would enable coeducation under the same roof, the School opened its doors under the name of “Darüşşafakat’ül İslamiye” on 29 June 1873 as a no-fee boarding school with special status. Since that time, the Society has been striving to create financial sources for the education of students of Darüşşafaka.

Never Compromised The Trust Of Its Donors Throughout Its History

In the late 1800s, there were no more than a handful of schools providing Western-style education in Turkey. The fundamental characteristic setting Darüşşafaka, one of those providing Western-style education, apart from the others was, however, the adoption of the mission of “equal opportunity in education”. While similar schools accepted children of wealthy families, the Society provided children without fathers and with families in financial distress an opportunity to receive a quality education. Although its curriculum, name, and location have been renewed over the years in consideration of the needs of the time, the Society, which never compromises this original mission, continues to change lives through education.

Goal: To Change The Lives Of More Children Through Education

The Society is still funded by real estate donations and contributions in cash and in kind received from persons or entities, just like it was when it was founded. Not ever permitting anything which may cast a shadow on the trust and wish of its donors throughout its history, the Society is still continuing its existence as an institution supported and contributed in full confidence by those who believe that an enlightened Turkey can be built only through education. Fueled by the courage given by this support, the Society is taking steps to reach a greater number of children.

Ada Dijital Ajans