St. George's Austrian High School

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Template:Infobox Secondary school

St. George's Austrian High School (Turkish: Sankt Georg Avusturya Lisesi, German: Österreichisches Sankt Georgs-Kolleg) is a private Austrian-Turkish high school located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of several secondary schools that were founded by European or American missions in Turkey during the 19th century, but were then secularized after the founding of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923.

Today, the school is subject to regulation by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, and almost its entire student body is Turkish, but a large part of its administrative and teaching staff remains Austrian (appointed by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture), and it offers a mixture of Turkish and Austrian curricula in a bilingual environment.


Sankt Georg was founded in 1882 by Austrian Lazarists and was originally intended for German-speaking Catholic children living in the Ottoman Empire. After the Ottoman (and Austrian) defeat in World War I, the school was ordered closed by the occupying Triple Entente forces in Istanbul, and all of its staff was sent back to Austria. The school was reopened shortly afterwards when the Republic of Turkey was founded (1923). After the annexation of Austria by the Nazi Germany in 1938, the school turned into a "German school" and it was closed once again in 1944, due to the freezing of relations between Turkey and Germany. It was reopened in 1947. In 1995, the girls' and boys' schools were merged.


The school combines both the Austrian and the Turkish curricula to prepare its students for the Turkish and Austrian school leaving examinations and to enrich their general knowledge. Under the current curriculum, students at Sankt Georg can learn up to three foreign languages. German and English are the two compulsory foreign languages taught at Sankt Georg. Aside from these two languages, students can choose either Latin or French as their third foreign language. Most subjects (including math, sciences, philosophy and arts) are taught in German by Austrian teachers, but subjects related to Turkish culture and language (such as Turkish literature, history and geography) are taught in Turkish by Turkish teachers. Students learn German in a compulsory one-year preparatory program.

School-leaving qualifications offered

  • Turkish high school diploma (Lise diplomas?)
  • Austrian Matura: Students wishing to pursue their tertiary education at universities in Austria, or in the European Union, have the right to sit the Austrian Reifeprüfung examination at Sankt Georg. Once students pass the examination, they obtain the Matura certificate, which is equivalent to International Baccalaureate (IB).

School library

Template:Expand section The current school library opened in 1988, after 2 small libraries within the school building were brought together. As of 2006, it contains more than 16,000 books, 20 periodicals/magazines in Turkish, German and English, and CDs/DVDs.


Alumni of Sankt Georg gather every year in the last week of April at a re-union called "Strudeltag". Another annual re-union is organised around May in Vienna, which is intended for the graduates of Sankt Georg living/studying in Austria or in other European countries.

Notable alumni

  • Mesut Y?lmaz, former prime minister of Turkey
  • Rutkay Aziz, actor and director
  • Zeynep Damla Gürel, Special advisor to the head of state in European affairs; former deputy of Republican People's Party (CHP)
  • Alev Korun, the first Turkish MP in the Austrian Parliament
  • Zeyno Baran, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute
  • Ediz Hun, actor and MP
  • Zerrin Arba?, actress and Best Model of Turkey 1965
  • Ahmet Tulgar, writer and journalist
  • Merva Ulusoy, program editor and presenter for the show Headquarters on CNN Turk news channel
  • Enis Berbero?lu, Chief editor of the Hürriyet daily
  • Petros Markaris, Greek author
  • Tunç Hamarat, World Correspondence Chess Champion 1999-2004
  • Murat Ses, keyboard player and composer, Grammy jury member
  • Mustafa Iscel, ÖVP MP
  • Fatih Ozguven, author, literary translator and columnist
  • Mehmetcan Mincinozlu, actor
  • Mehmet Gürel, writer, singer
  • Cansu Demirci, actress
  • Aret Güzel Aleksanyan, founder of Vienna Interkul Theater (Wiener Interkul Theater), 2008 Vienna City Gold Medal for Outstanding Service
  • Leyla Gediz, painter, arts exhibition curator
  • Ömer Göksel, composer, jazz musician
  • Mine Ay?e Karamehmet, founder of the art schools; Atölyedans and Atölyemüzik
  • Meral Güneyman, musician and pianist
  • Nijad Sirel, writer
  • Kenan Ece, actor
  • Gültekin Çizgen, photography artist
  • Cenk Aydin, Young Global Leader, Banker and Entrepreneur

See also

  • List of high schools in Turkey

External links