Heybeliada Naval High School: A Journey Through Time

A Symbol of Heybeliada 🏫

Heybeliada Naval High School characteristic two minarets and double sided staircase taken from the snapshoot ferry.

When you set foot on Heybeliada, one of the first sights that greet you is the Heybeliada Naval High School. This institution is not just a building; it’s a symbol of the island, deeply woven into its cultural and historical fabric.

This school, one of the few military schools in Turkey, has a history that extends far beyond its establishment. Moreover, its curriculum has shone light not only on the cultural history of Heybeliada but also on the political world of the Ottoman era.

It’s noteworthy that some of the most prominent figures in the Republic’s navy were nurtured within its walls.

Heybeliada Naval High School: A Trip Down Memory Lane 🏛️

The journey of the Heybeliada Naval High School started long before it became associated with the island.

The school was originally founded by Kaptan-ı Derya Cezayirli Hasan Paşa in 1773 as the “Mühendishane-i Bahr-ı Hümayun” along with the Naval War School at the Kasımpaşa Shipyard.

Following the Tanzimat Edict in 1839, the name was changed to “Mekteb-i Bahriye-i Şahane”. Over the years, the school underwent multiple name changes, as well as physical relocations, before finally settling in Heybeliada in 1946. [1]

A New Chapter: Post World War II 🌍

The school underwent significant changes in its educational system and management during its long journey. In 1853, it opened its “idadi”, or high school sections.

The school temporarily moved to Mersin during World War II, from 1941 to 1946, before returning to Heybeliada for the academic year of 1946-1947.

In 1963, the Heybeliada Naval High School separated from the Naval War School, which continued its education in Tuzla, and started its own independent journey in a building owned by the Naval Education and Training Command. [2]

Physical Changes and Continual Evolution 🔄

Physical changes have been a constant part of the school’s journey. The open space on the Maltepe-facing side of the school, which was adjacent to the Commander’s building and led to the central garden, was home to a mosque.

This mosque was open for public use and underwent several alterations over the years. After being damaged in the reign of Sultan Abdülmecit and repaired, its minaret was destroyed in the 1894 earthquake and replaced with a shorter one.

The mosque was reportedly moved outside the school upon the request of İsmet İnönü, who frequently visited the island due to his illness in 1931. [3]

Present Day: From Education to Preservation 🏛️➡️🏦

Since 2016, the Heybeliada Naval High School no longer serves as an educational institution. Today, it stands as a testament to the past, offering a glimpse of history as a museum on the beautiful island of Heybeliada.

The school’s journey from its establishment to the present day is a fascinating tale of evolution and resilience, embodying the spirit of the island itself. [4]


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