Turkey’s first alumni association: Darüşşafaka Alumni Association
Sustaining efforts to enable the communication and cooperation of fellow Darüşşafaka students and Darüşşafaka's supporters through hard work and donations, the Darüşşafaka Alumni Association was established under the name of "Darüşşafaka Graduates' Association" on 08 August 1908 by 150 fellow Darüşşafaka students gathered at the school building in Fatih, Istanbul.
Though Darüşşafaka Graduates' Association was the first alumni association in Turkey and, before the founding of the republic, the first in the Ottoman Empire, it actually was not founded as an alumni association. In 1903, when Sultan Abdülhamit considered Darüşşafaka student discontent with the school’s management as an action against himself, he shut down Darüşşafaka Society and put the school under the control of the Ministry of Education. At this point, the Darüşşafaka Alumni Association set out to re-establish the Society, to take Darüşşafaka from the hands of the Ministry of Education, and to restore power to the Association. These goals were reached subsequently in 1909.
Bringing together members of the Darüşşafaka Family on the basis of shared educational experience and culture, the Association is one of the most active and notable non-governmental organizations in Turkey. Aiming to enhance Darüşşafaka's recognition, prestige and corporate image, the Association also embraces the school’s historical heritage. In order to be able to utilize Darüşşafaka's unrivalled historical heritage for the benefit of society, the Association implements cultural and social projects.