Illuminating the Future: The Reconstruction of Higher Education in the Early Years of the Republic, 1923–1946

Date: open until 28 May 2023
Place: ANAMED Gallery

Exhibition Content Team:Tuba Akbaytürk Çanak, Burak Başaranlar, İrem Ünal, Nathalie Defne Gier 
Exhibition Texts and Advisor: Burak Başaranlar
Archive Research: İrem Ünal, Nathalie Defne Gier
Exhibition Design: Naz Uğurlu

Koç University presents a new exhibition that examines early reforms in higher education at the centenary anniversary of the Republic. “Illuminating the Future: The Reconstruction of Higher Education in the Early Years of the Republic, 1923–1946 ”  focuses on a critical period that shaped the future of Turkey and brings together important documents and visual material from different archives, primarily from the Koç University Suna Kıraç Library. The content of the exhibition was prepared by the Koç University’s Suna Kıraç Library team, while the exhibition texts were written by the historian Burak Başaranlar.

The exhibition revolves around educational infrastructure, which was in need of development, and the social enterprises of a war-weary Republic. It also addresses achievements in education in the light of the women’s movement, while touching on issues such as equal opportunity, secularism, and democratization in academic institutions, just as it highlights important fields such as law, arts, agricultural studies, and humanities.

The years that constitute the focal point of the exhibition also cover a critical period for the world. This was a period when scientists left Germany due to the political atmosphere, seeking asylum in other countries, including Turkey. The exhibition also presents a key document that bears witness to this important period and examines how influential the emigre scientists for the Turkey’s higher education.

The exhibition focuses on institutions of higher education primarily, which were reorganized in the early Republican era and established during that time period and still exist in Ankara today, which were critical in shaping the future of higher education in Turkey.