Education and Cultural Activity, Education
Aegean University, Middle East Technical University, Ataturk, Major institutions, modern education
At the birth of the republic more than 90 percent of the people were illiterate. Ataturk, the leader of the new republic, stressed the need for modern education, and the first constitution stated that primary education would be obligatory for all Turks and free in government schools. By 2001, 97 percent of the adult population could read and write. Primary education through the first five grades is compulsory. In the 1994-1995 school year 6.5 million pupils attended primary schools. However, only 70 percent of secondary school-aged children were enrolled in school.
In the mid-1990s 1.2 million students attended institutions of higher education. Entrance to Turkey’s universities is extremely competitive. Major institutions are the University of Istanbul (1453); the Aegean University (1955), at Izmir; and the University of Ankara (1946) and the Middle East Technical University (1956), at Ankara.
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