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Istanbul University

Istanbul University

History

This is Istanbul’s largest university and oldest institution being traced back to an idea of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror’s when it was part of the Fatih Mosque’s eight medreses. The medreses of the Beyazıt, Selim I and Suleymaniye Mosques were also foundations of the university’s different faculties. As with most of the Ottoman Empire
institutions it was in need of reform but nothing changed until Turkey was declared a Republic in 1923 and it was re-homed behind Beyazit Square in the Seraskerat or Ministry of War.
Its name changed from Istanbul Darülfünun to Istanbul University in 1933 and was moved again to buildings designed in 1866 by a French architect, Marie-Auguste Antoine Bourgeois and made accessible through the grand Neo-Renaissance arch.

Famous Graduates of Istanbul University

Famous attendees at the university include writers Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and Orhan Pamuk, musician Mercan Dede, the poet Orhan Veli, politicians Yıldırım Akbulut and David Ben-Gurion and President Abdullah Gul .

The Rectorate of Istanbul University

The Rectorate has paintings by Feyhaman Duran (1886-1970) who is known as Turkey’s first portrait painter; he also painted still life, animals and landscapes. Duran was trained in Paris, France and taught at the Fine Arts Academy where he met his wife Güzin Hanım who was his muse and with whom he worked with for the rest of his life. Their paintings are on the top floor of the building along with works by painter and sculptor Selim Turan (1915-1994). Just a short walk from here is Güzin’s small wooden house she inherited from her father who was a calligrapher. Here you will see other works of Duran including a beautiful portrait of Güzin he painted before they married and can be seen in their bedroom. Their studio or atelier is still set up in the garden and remains today as it did the day they left it.

Location

Istanbul University is located in Beyazit Fatih .
   

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