History of the School
History of the School
At the end of the 1800s, prominent Turkish families in Thessalonica were in search of Turkish school that would provide their children with a sound education and the opportunity to develop. Zeki Efendi, an Ottoman Turk who had emigrated from Egypt to Thessalonica, always dreamed of opening such a school. However, the person who managed to open the first Turkish school in Thessalonica was Şemsi Efendi. Feyz-i Sıbyan, the first of what would become the Işık Schools, was opened on December 14, 1885 by Mümeyyiz Tevfik Efendi in Thessalonica. Şemsi Efendi, teacher of Mustafa Kemal, who had to close his school due to financial difficulties, also joined Feyz-i Sıbyan, and thus began Işık Schools’ tradition of enlightening Turkish children. The school, which moved to Koska and then to Teşvikiye due to the Balkan Wars, quickly grew in stature by contributing to education without compromising on its mission during those difficult times.
Being one of the oldest schools in Turkey, Işık played an important role in the transfer of foundations from the era of the Ottoman Empire to Turkey’s Republican Period. It celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding by adopting the name Işık on December 16th 1934 with the official approval of Atatürk.
Since 1885, the school has aimed at contributing to national education by establishing educational institutions at every level from kindergarten to university for the purpose of raising “Good Citizens First”. Besides the Nişantaşı Campus, the school built FMV Ayazağa Işık Primary School in 1985, FMV Ayazağa Işık Middle School and High School in 1988, and FMV Ayazağa Işık Science High School in 2017 in the Ayazağa Campus.
The foundation took its first step towards carrying its experience to the Anatolian side of Istanbul with the opening of the FMV Erenköy Işık Primary and Middle School in 2000, which continues to operate on the same campus today with its kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school and science high school. The foundation also built FMV Ispartakule Işık Primary and Middle School in 2013, FMV Ispartakule Işık High School in 2016 and FMV Ispartakule Işık Science High School in 2017 on the Ispartakule Campus.