Read our guide before bringing your kids out to Turkey. There’s a whole lot of things to do even before you get here!
Education in Turkey is controlled nationally by the Ministry of Education whose website in English can be found at www.meb.gov.tr
Compulsory education lasts for 8 years (roughly from the age of 6 – 14) and is called primary education. Young people wanting to continue beyond the age of 14 do so by attending a lise for 3 years which prepares them for higher education as in UK. This stage of the system is known as secondary education.
There are national exams at the end of primary school (age 14) and again after three years in secondary (age 17). It is usual for Turkish students who wish to proceed to university to then spend a further year preparing for the university entrance exam at a private education facility called a dershane.
You can choose to send your child to a state school or a private school. Before your child can be placed at the correct level for his/her age and attainment, whether the school is state or private, you need to acquire a ‘Denklik Belgesi’ (equivalence certificate).
You can get this by applying to the Turkish Consulate in London before you leave the UK. Contact Nilly Pyper from the Education Department (Tel 020 772 41511) for a Denklik form. You should allow at least a month to complete this process. If you arrive with this certificate your child can start school immediately in the right year and that should speed up your application for residence.
If you choose to apply for the certificate after you arrive in Turkey – see below.
Allow time for form filling when you find the school you want to place your child in and take and interpreter if the school isn’t international.
Even if you place your child in a state school you will be expected to pay for all books, pens, paper etc; and pay for school dinners and transport to and from school.