From Military to Education

Istanbul University


Today’s Defence Ministry was known as Harbiye Nezareti in the late Ottoman era and before the Nezaret, this responsibility fell on Serasker.

The building that was once used by Harbiye Nezareti is now employed to be used by the Rector’s office. With the declaration of the Republic, the ministry moved to the new capital Ankara, and the building was passed on to Darulfunun which later became known as Istanbul University.


Istanbul University as an institution has its roots in the Zeyrek and Ayasofya Madrases that were founded by Fatih the Conqueror. For the detailed  history of the University click here.

Another interesting structure that stands on the grounds of the University is the Beyazit Fire Tower. Built in 1749 for the purpose of overseeing the city for fires, the tower itself burned down twice only to be later built a third time by architect Senekerim Balyan in 1828. These days, taking a look at the tower in the evening lets you know about the weather the next day. Blue means clear, green indicates rain, yellow is foggy and red signals that snow can be expected the next day. The tower that was supposed to be opened to public in May is still under renovation to be turned into a museum.


To get to the main gate of İstanbul University just take any bus or the tram that passes through Beyazit.

Take care of yourselves,

Tracer of Istanbul

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