Istanbul Technical University (ITU)

İstanbul Technical University (ITU) is our country’s first technical university and its history dates back to “Mühendishane-i Bahr-i Hümayun” set up in 1773. It was renamed “Yüksek Mühendis Mektebi (High Engineering School)” in 1928, using Gümüşsuyu Barracks as well as Taşkışla and Maçka Armories. In 1944, it was restructured as İstanbul Technical University (ITU).

Gümüşsuyu Barracks, which was converted to the Gümüssuyu building of Istanbul Technical University in 1944, seen in the early 1900s
Feza Kürkçüoğlu Archive
Taşkışla building, which was converted to the Faculty of Architecture of Istanbul Technical University in 1944, seen in the 1900s
Feza Kürkçüoğlu Archive

ITU Gümüşsuyu was the leading school where the Generation 68 was well organized. While the revolutionary student movement’s protests which began in 1968 against the Sixth Fleet of the US continued, a student named Vedat Demircioğlu was killed in a police raid on a dormitory in 1969 and subsequently, the dormitory was closed.

Students of Istanbul Technical University Gümüşsuyu during a boycott in support of the 1968 Istanbul University occupation
Feza Kürkçüoğlu Archive

Between 1975 and 1985, ITU Gümüşsuyu stood out as a school where revolutionary students were in majority, struggling for academic and democratic rights. It was an important site for both the school and Taksim district in the ongoing anti-fascist struggle.

ITU-DER which was set up by students in 1975 played an important role in organizing students and also carried out similar activities in the Taksim region. As students attending school in ITU Gümüşsuyu, ITU Taşkışla and ITU Maçka campuses had some joint classes, they got together to repel attacks by the Grey Wolves.

Maçka Occupation at Istanbul Technical University, 1975
Photo: Coşkun Aral

In 1977, revolutionary students took control of the ITU Sports Club located in Gümüşsuyu and they organized cultural and arts events alongside sports competitions. They founded the “Folk Dances Festival of Universities” and “ITU Festival” which attracted a lot of interest. The ITU dormitory which was closed down in 1969 as a result of student protests demanding more dormitories, was later reopened in the Maçka campus.

Istanbul Technical University Gümüşsuyu building, 2021.
Video-Photo: Çağrı İşbilir
Istanbul Technical University Maçka building, 2021.
Video-Photo: Çağrı İşbilir
Istanbul Technical University Taşkışla building, 2021.
Video-Photo: Çağrı İşbilir