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Founded on 30 March 1863 by five Ottoman intellectuals with the mission of " Equality of Opportunity in Education ", the 160th anniversary of the Foundation, which has been raising our children, the bright future of Türkiye, with quality education ever since, was celebrated with a ceremony held at the Darüşşafaka TIM Performance Centre.

Ebru Arpacı: "Being a Darüşşafaka student means being open to innovation and change, making a difference, being different, and producing..."

In the opening speech of the ceremony prepared by Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions and hosted by Azime Sekman, a 9th grade student, and Samet Ceylan, an 11th grade student, Ebru Arpacı, General Manager of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions, said: "Today, we are proudly celebrating the 160th anniversary of the foundation of our Foundation. From 1863 to 2023, exactly 160 years... These 160 years hold many hopes, many dreams, many futures... When we go back exactly 160 years ago, I think about what our founders, Yusuf Ziya Pasha in particular, and those five Ottoman intellectuals would say to us today. I think they would say 'Roots are your greatest heritage'...".

Arpaci continued her words as follows: "To be a Darüşşafaka student is to be open to innovation and change, to make a difference, to be different, to produce... It is to make decisions that are considered impossible, to wonder more. Darüşşafaka means being us, spreading knowledge, science, having a heart beating for the country, and keeping the mind and heart behind the green door while spreading to the four corners of the country. We will always take Darüşşafaka forward with our R&D and programme development studies in education, our pioneering work in educational technology and digitalisation, our talent discovery and career guidance studies, our certificates and projects, and our data-based education and management approach. We will hold tightly to our values and create new values together."

Oğuz Güleç: "As we move towards the future with our strong values and our mission of Equality of Opportunity in Education ', we wholeheartedly believe that changing the life of a child through education is equivalent to changing the world."

Taking the floor after Arpacı's speech, Oğuz Güleç, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darüşşafaka Association, started his speech by expressing his condolences and patience to the citizens and their families who lost their lives in the earthquakes centred in Kahramanmaraş and Hatay. Stating that the Darüşşafaka Association is working with all its strength to heal the wounds, Güleç said: "While remembering with mercy and gratitude our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who set the goal of modern civilisation before us, his mother Zübeyde Hanım, whose trust we are proud to have earned, our Great Leader's comrades-in-arms and those who have carried the priceless value of the Darüşşafaka name to this day with their donations and services, I wish those who are still alive a long life in which they will celebrate many more years of our foundation with us. " and he expressed his wish to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of Darüşşafaka with great enthusiasm and happiness next year.

At the ceremony where the film "Darüşşafaka with Words", in which students of Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions explained what Darüşşafaka meant to them, was also screened, students who showed a representation from traditional Turkish theatre revived Karagöz with the work "160 Years on the Dream Curtain". In the 160th anniversary specially made Karagöz stage, which is the second largest stage in Turkey, the history of Darüşşafaka, its founders and some of its administrators were portrayed. Darüşşafaka students undertook the mission of Hacivat, and the puppet show performed by the students of Darüşşafaka was highly appreciated by the audience.

At the ceremony, Doğuş Özdemir, a 2015 graduate of Darüşşafaka High School who played for the Darüşşafaka High School Basketball Team and played for the national team, gave a speech on being a DAÇKA student. 

Students waltzed to the song "Yine Bir Gülnihal" performed by the Darüşşafaka Orchestra Group and performed a tango show to Tanju Okan's song "Papatya Gibisin". The Darüşşafaka Orchestra Group also performed Iggy Pop's "The Passenger", Özkan Uğur's "Sude" and Tarkan's "Unutmamalı" along with the popular songs "Telgrafımın Tellerine" and "Cumhuriyet Hürriyet Demek".

The ceremony prepared for the 160th anniversary of Darüşşafaka ended with exuberant singing of the Darüşşafaka Anthem.

After the ceremony, the guests visited the "160th Year Art Exhibition from the Past to the Future" featuring the paintings of Darüşşafaka students and the "Gestern Heute Und Für Immer Darüssafaka 160th Jahr" exhibition.


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