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*Assist. Assoc. Professor,  University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey

In the Ottoman Empire, the basis of training institutions in the province and sanjaks are the primary schools. In the sıbyan mektebs (classical primary schools) traditional methods were used and there were no significant changes until the Tanzimat period (1839). The first modernization attempts began with Sultan Mahmud II which were not enough to give successful results. Basic education was under the control of Shaykh al-Islam (Şeyhülislam) authorities as institutions providing religious education and remained so until the beginning of the 20th century. Since 1845, Sultan Abdülmecid made reforms in education. After these reforms, teaching time of sıbyan mektebs was accepted as four (4) years and it was decided to put Turkish and writing courses as well as traditional courses. But due to lack of teachers and financial difficulties, reform initiatives did not result again. In 1857 Ministry of Education was established. Then “Regulation of General Education” (Maarif-i Umumiye Nizamnamesi) was published in 1869. According to the Regulation, it would be established a sıbyan mekteb for every neighborhood and village and their’s teacher would be graduated from darulmuallimin. After the 1876 Constitution (Basic law/Kanun-i Esasi), primary education was decided to be compulsory and free [1]. Since First Constitutionalism (Meşrutiyet I) period, sıbyan mektebs were improved gradually and were transformed into a modern-style educational institutions. But this idea was put into practice after 1882. In this context, darülmuallimin and teacher training courses were opened in the central of provinces [2].

Secondary educational institution (rüştiye) and higher education (darulfünun) were opened in 1845 apart from sıbyan mektebs. It was decided to create a hierarchical structure in education system consisting of three stages as primary, secondary and higher education. Although this structure has not been implemented until the end of the Tanzimat Period, also Maârif-i Umumiye Nizâmnâmesi, issued in 1869, was a milestone for hierarchy among the new-style education institutions [3].

Schools of darülmuallimin (idadi) were established in the Tanzimat Period and were planned to prepare students to military and vocational higher education institutions. But, the spread of idadis was set in 1884 after a special education tax [4].

The training in the Sanjak of Sinop was not advanced. Outside of sıbyan mektebs, the opening of an idadi in the central of Sinop took place but at the beginning of the 20th century. The construction of mekteb-i idadi was started on time Nardeli Veysel Pasha the first in 1883. Governor Ömer Şevki Pasha time (1889) was completed and opened [5]. According to the 1889 State Yearbook (Salname), Sinop Sanjak had 2 rüştiye in total. One of them was in the center and the other was Boyabat district [6]. In 1893, in total, there were 8 madrasahs with 125 students, 3 rüştiyes with 250 students and 136 iptidaiyes (primary school) with 2640 students in Sinop Sanjak. The distribution of the madrasah and students in the central and districts were as follows [7]:

There were 6 madrasahs with 60 students, 2 rüştiyes with 160 students and 30 iptidaiyes with 600 students in the central of Sinop. There were 5 madrasahs with 65 students in Boyabat district. In addition, the Greek Orthodox had a school with 40 students in Boyabat district. According to the 1889 Maarif (Educatinal) Yearbook [8], there was a rüştiye in Sinop, Boyabat and Gerze district with 187 students in total. According to the same Yearbook, the Greek Orthodox had a secondary school with 51 male students in the central of Sinop. During the early 20th century, İdadi of Sinop had 119 students out of which 113 were Muslims and the others were non-muslims.


[1] Ahmet Cihan, Reform Çağında Osmanlı İlmiye Sınıfı, (İstanbul: Birey Yayıncılık 2004), 202-204.

[2] Mahmud Cevad, Maarif-i Umumiye Nezareti Tarihçe-i Teşkilat ve İcraatı, (İstanbul: 1339), 241.

[3] H. Roderic Davison, Reform in The Ottoman Empire 1856-1876, (Princeton University Press: XIII, 1963), 45, 248.

[4] Bernard Lewis, Modern Türkiye’nin Doğuşu, Çev.: Metin Kıratlı, (Ankara: TTK, 3. Baskı), 180.

[5] Deniz Esemenli, “Sinop İli Türk Dönemi Mimarisi”, (Phd Thesis, İstanbul Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, III. Section, İstanbul: 1990), 158.

[6] Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: H. 1306 (1889) Def’a 15, Kastamonu Vilayet Matbaası, Kastamonu, 1306/1889.

[7]Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: H. 1311 (1893) Def’a 17, Kastamonu Vilayet Matbaası, Kastamonu, 1311/1893.

[8] Salnâme-i Nezâret-i Maârif-i Umûmiyye, H. 1316-1321 Def’a 1-6, Matbaa-i Âmire, İstanbul.