Deutsche Schule Istanbul

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Deutsche Schule Istanbul
Deutsche Schule Istanbul (logo).png
Type Private Coeducational
Established 1868
Teaching staff 60 German Germany,
30 Turkish Turkey
Grades For Germans: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12 For Turks: Prep, 9, 10, 11, 12
Enrollment 660 Turkish,
170 International (mainly German)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Blue, White

Deutsche Schule Istanbul (formal German name) or Özel Istanbul Alman Lisesi (formal Turkish name) or simply Alman Lisesi ("German School of Istanbul", in English) is a German international school in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.[1]

It is one of the most prestigious high schools in Turkey. It was established in May 1868 for the children of German traders, artists, engineers and diplomats living in Istanbul.[2] Because of the increasing number of students and the destruction of the building during the 1894 Istanbul earthquake, the school moved to its present building at Şahkulu Bostani Street in Beyoğlu. With the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 it was incorporated into the new Turkish educational system and since then, it has been known all over the country for its highly esteemed trilingual (German, English, Turkish) education.

The German High School - largely financed by the German Government - has a dual structure. The school is responsible to both the German and Turkish Ministries of Education. Situated near the "Golden Horn" and overlooking the "Bosphorus" , the school building, which has belonged to the German government for over one hundred years, is located in the cultural center of Istanbul. After a seven-hour school day of intensive education, students have the opportunity of either taking part in one of the extracurricular activities or experiencing the mystic spirit of Beyoğlu, which has been the heart of Istanbul for over two hundred years.

Today, Turkish students have to take a highly competitive nationwide examination in Turkey and typically score among the top 0.5% in order to attend the school. Deutsche Schule Istanbul offers its students education in German, including math, physics, biology, and chemistry, combined with social science courses in Turkish, mandatory English language classes, and optional French language classes. The school provides a strong foundation in sciences as well as in German and English language. Education through the 12th grade culminates with the mandatory German Abitur, and graduates typically go to the most prestigious universities in Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Among the alumni are a number of very famous Turkish artists, scientists, politicians and businesspeople.

Deutsche Schule Istanbul has a view of the old Istanbul and the Bosphorus.


The German High School offers a five-year program in which every student must take one year of preparatory class before commencing the regular curriculum. This preparatory class offers an extensive study of the German language (24 hours a week, excluding mathematics & science courses also taught in German).

To prepare the students for the Abitur, the level of courses in this highly demanding program is beyond the Advanced Placement (AP) level. Therefore, no AP courses are offered in the German High School. However, students who choose to take additional AP exams typically get high grades, due to the already rigorous school curriculum.

Along with the AP, some US colleges also offer college credit for students with Abitur credentials.[3][4][5] In order to maintain the quality of the coursework and to solidify the students' academic standing, the faculty is assessed regularly. Some faculty members hold a PhD (mostly from German universities).[6]

German is the language of instruction in sciences, mathematics, German literature, computer science, arts, music and physical education according to the curriculum of German government. According to national guidelines, Turkish is the language of instruction in geography, history, religious studies & ethics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, civic responsibility and national security.


The curriculum offered for mathematics includes Algebra I, Algebra II, Linear Algebra, Trigonometry, Plane Geometry, Projective Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Solid Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus (2-year topic), Probability and Statistics.


The science curriculum is compulsory for all students and cover chemistry, physics and biology. All science courses are instructed in German.

  • Chemistry topics include Atomic and Molecular Structures, States of Matter, Reaction Types, Thermodynamics, Stoichiometry Equilibrium and Reaction Rates, Electrochemistry, Descriptive and Organic Chemistry (2-year topic).
  • Physics topics include Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Oscillations and Waves, Optics, Heat Transfer, Kinetic Theory, Thermodynamics, Atomic Physics, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. Calculus is also employed from Junior year onwards.
  • Biology topics include Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Classical and Molecular Genetics, Organism Biology, Ethology, Evolution and Diversity, Photosynthesis and Neurophysiology.

Additionally, students take one year of computer science in the tenth grade. The topics include Binary Numbers, Introduction to Elementary Logic, Programming in Microsoft Excel and Access, Macromedia Flash and Basic HTML Coding.


German, which is the language of instruction in most of the courses, is taught at an equal level to a high school (Gymnasium) in Germany. In preparatory class, the students learn about Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading, Writing, Oral and Presentation Skills. The last four years cover literature and philosophy. Students are introduced to literary and philosophical works in German by some prominent writers such as Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Hesse, Mann, Kafka, Brecht, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer etc. A demanding coursework including literary analysis & criticism (for prose, poetry, drama and nonfiction) is offered and a good command of literary techniques is expected.


To meet European standards, all students are required to be trilingual. Therefore, the school puts great emphasis on its English language courses. German High School's students are there fluent both in English and German. The curriculum for higher grade (junior and senior year) students covers Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading, Writing, Oral and Presentation Skills as well as Literature. Writers from different eras such as William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck and Aldous Huxley are introduced to students.

Social Sciences[edit]

In addition to these courses, German High School's curriculum includes a variety of mandatory social science courses which are instructed in Turkish. Grades taken from these courses in junior or senior years, do not count towards Abitur. These courses are literature (Turkish, European, ancient and contemporary), Turkish (grammar, rhetoric, critical thinking, writing and presentation skills), history (Turkish, world, ancient and contemporary), geography (general, world, Turkish and also geology), psychology (different approaches, psychoanalysis, intelligence, perception, relationship between mind, person and environment, social psychology etc.), philosophy (logic, reasoning, philosophical concepts, history of philosophy, metaphysics), sociology (social theories, social structures, theories of culture, social institutions, social change), national security, civic responsibility and ethics.


Following one-year mandatory German music class in the prep year, students may choose to continue with an additional one-year Turkish music class, or take arts instead. Pupils who wish to pursue the "TM" track, have to take additional 2-year geography, elongated hours of literature and Turkish from Junior year onwards, in addition to above-listed mandatory science courses.

Language electives range from French to Swahili. These courses are optional and do not count towards the GPA, however French is taught in accordance with Institut français and offers an excellent preparation for French DELF certificate examination. This course is separate than the mandatory Abitur-level French course, which is only offered to international students in their Junior and Senior years, and assumes full language proficiency (C-level).

Student Organizations[edit]

From the beginning of their studies students participate in a wide range of activities in different clubs.

The Students' Council (SV) is formed by class representatives and an elected executive committee. It facilitates the communication between the student body, the faculty and the administration, hi addition, the SV organizes and implements the monitoring of students in school premises and organizes social activities such as the "Schulfest".

The school's Destination Imagination Club was shut down in 2016, despite being successful in the previous years.


In 2013, a group of 20 faculty and staff including the old executive board chairman Dr. Wolf-Bernd Kretzschmann, was involved in a corruption scandal. Defendants were charged by malfeasance in office, malpractice, and embezzlement.[7][8] Allegedly, the previous accountant of the school Arman Kantar, with his accomplices, stole just a little less than 4 million €,[9] according to the new Matthias Köhle. Istanbul 9th High Penal Court is currently working on the case.[10]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Home page. Deutsche Schule Istanbul. Retrieved on 17 January 2015. "TR-34 420 Beyoğlu-Istanbul Șahkulu Bostanı Sokak No. 10"
  2. ^ Hurriyet Article on private schools in Istanbul
  3. ^ Harvard University Guideline for Advanced Standing
  4. ^ Massachusetts Institute of Technology: AP and International Exams Credit
  5. ^ Stanford University Department of Physics: Transfer Credit And Advanced Placement
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Alman Lisesi'nde yolsuzluk davası". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  8. ^ "Alman Lisesi'nden eski çalışanlarına yolsuzluk davası". ZETE: Hak ve özgürlükler temelinde objektif haber (in Turkish). Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  9. ^ "Millionen vom Schulkonto verschwunden?" (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  10. ^ HABER, HUKUKİ. "Alman Lisesi'nde büyük şok; 4 milyon Euro'yu...". HUKUKİ HABER (in Turkish). Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  11. ^ | Synopsis to the Turkish translation of Schräder's "Konstantinopel". (p. 10)
  12. ^
  13. ^ Bloomberg Profile on Sinan Tara

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°01′40″N 28°58′32″E / 41.02778°N 28.97556°E / 41.02778; 28.97556