ISTANBUL ZAIM UNIVERSITY
About Istanbul Zaim University
The first enterprise for agricultural education during the Ottoman State started when Mekteb-i Zirai Şahane (imperial agricultural school) was founded in 1848 in Yeşilköy district. However, due to various reasons, the school was closed in its second year.
A decree in 1867 made it necessary to open an agricultural school and farm samples in the centre of each city. However, there was no action taken on that up until 1884. With a code of practice that came out in 1884, the process of opening agricultural schools started. In those years, Ziraat Müdür-i Umumiye was founded as part of the Trade Inspection. The principal appointed was Sir Agop Amaysan, who had graduated from Grinyon Higher School of Agriculture in France.
The land of 5984x1000 m2 for the building space was bought for 2000 golds from Mısırlı Hurşit Paşa's wife Lady Rukiye. After gathering a commission in the Trade Inspection, the building process started. In the meantime, 8 students were sent to France to get agricultural education. Following the completion of the first phase of construction, the budget ran out. The construction works were on hold for two years. Later on, the construction works were completed in the leadership of a commission led by the Agricultural Principal Umumi Nuri Bey when Zihni Paşa was the Trade Inspector, Veterinary Science Advisor Mehmet Ali Bey and Agricultural Inspector Sir Agadon.
The civil service veterinaries were the first students of Halkalı Agricultural School. The first 25 students who were admitted in 1889, continued their education in the Civil Service Health School (Tıbbıye-i Mülkiye Mektebi) in Ahırkapı. 19 of those students were transferred back to the schol Halkalı in 1891, when the construction works had just been completed.
The official opening ceremony for the school was made on 13 October 1892 by Ziraat Bank Manager Celal Bey. In the same ceremony, Mehmet Akif Ersoy and Sir Agadon were awarded presents for their top performances in their classes.
The school's name at the time was Halkalı Ziraat ve Baytar Mekteb-i Alisi. Mehmet Ali Bey was appointed as the first principal of the school. İstirati Efendi was appointed as the second principal and Zagaryan Efendi was appointed as the Farm Principal. An Agricultural Technical Commission was formed by gathering five branches together. Aran Efendi was appointed as the chairman for the commission. The branch directors were Agadon Efendi, Mashar Bey, Vahan Bey and Mehmet Ali Bey.
The school produced its first graduates in 1893. Those were the students who had been sent to Tıbbiye-i Mülkiye and were transferred back to Halkalı in 1891. The second lot of those students graduated in 1894. After deciding that the school building was not sufficient for the agricultural and veterinary students, they got transferred to the Veterinary School in Cindi Square in 1894. Mehmet Ali Bey was appointed as the principal of the school. Mashar Bey was appointed as the principal of the Agricultural School.
Halkalı Agricultural School produced its first graduates in 1895. The students from Orman Maadin School, which was closed in 1892, got transferred to Halkalı. That was the case until Orman Mekteb-i Alisi was opened in 1910.
After the constitutional revolution in 1908, some students got sent to Europe to specialise in different areas of agriculture. After they returned, they were appointed jobs in the branches that were related to the areas they had specialised in. Ali Rıza Bey, Nurettin Bey and Süreyya Bey were the students who had specialized in Europe.
In 1914, as the beginning of WWI, Halkalı Agricultural School stopped education, just like the other schools. Most of the teachers and students had to fight on the front and become either veterans or martyrs. Due to the needs of agricultural production, fertile examination and distribution during the war, the school was re-opened in 1916. In 1922, the School Administration was called Rectorate. The first Rector was Ali Rıza Erten (1922-1924). He was followed by Muhlis Erkmen (1924-1927) and Süreyya Genca (1927-1928).
Due to the Islah-ı Tedrisat Law that came out during the rule of the last Rector Faik Bey, the school was closed in 1928. It was re-opened in 1930 with the name Halkalı Agricultural School to give medium level professional education of 3 years. In 1980, the years of education were raised to 4 years. According to our Ministry's approval of the MKD-BDR.2.06.2000/133 law on 14.11.2000, it was accepted to give pastoral education as of 2001-2002. Then, the school was called Agricultural Production Administration and Pastoral Professions High School (Zirai Üretim İşletmesi ve Peyzaj Meslek Lisesi).
According to the law in 2005/9139 by The Cabinet of Ministers on 04.07.2005, the school was closed and started to get used as Halkalı Agricultural Production Administration, Agricultural Development and Service Training Directorate. Later on the same land was assigned to the Knowledge Dissemination Foundation for university establishment.