Kartal Anadolu Imam Hatip High School is the very first and the highest-ranking Anadolu Imam Hatip (school offering vocational religious training and intensive language and science education) that is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and Cambridge-accredited state school known for its wide range of social activities and history of academical success, located in Istanbul, Turkey.
As an Anadolu Imam Hatip state school offering IB diploma program, Kartal Anadolu Imam Hatip High School harmonizes the governmental view of general national education, “to raise them (students) as constructive, creative and productive persons who are physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and emotionally balanced, have a sound personality and character, with the ability to think freely and scientifically and have a broad worldview, that are respectful for human rights, value personality and enterprise, and feel responsibility towards society.”, vision of vocational religious teaching (Imam Hatip), which is to create people who distinguish the importance of religion for individual and society, enlighten society in the subject of religion and can fulfill their need for religious knowledge, evaluate cultural heritage and adapt this heritage to modern life, possess sufficient knowledge of worships, beliefs and moral principles of Islamic religion, read Qur’an knowing that it is the primary source of information in Islam and demonstrate understanding of what is read, have the legitimate capability of leading Islamic worship services, are able to distinguish between the fundamental principles of Islam and their interpretations, comprehend the concept of prophethood and the importance of prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in Islamic religion, possess sufficient knowledge about history of Islam and its terminology, evaluate science, art and universe itself through Islamic viewpoints, can evaluate interpretations of religion in line with science and logic, are able to question when necessary and research to find answers, prioritize their knowledge and rational reasoning when solving problems, discern the Islamic influences in Turkish culture, appreciate different interpretations of Islam and have thorough comprehension of other religions ; International Baccalaureate mission, “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”, and merges it with its own goals, as stated by principal Mitat Tekcam, “What I immediately think of when I am asked what is a student of Kartal like, is a person who is self-confident, successful and righteous, and would endeavor and prosper in his work wherever he is. … Students and graduates of Kartal are people who are versatile, diverse, and have advanced and triumphed in many aspects according to their own interests.”
The school was first established in 1985 as an all-boys school named Beykoz Anadolu Imam Hatip High School, the first Anadolu Imam Hatip, combining the English and German-based Anadolu curriculum with the Arabic-based Imam Hatip curriculum in Beykoz, Istanbul. In 1990, the facilities were moved to Kartal, Istanbul, causing the name of the school to change into Kartal Anadolu Imam Hatip High School and the girls were admitted to the school in 1992. The very first graduates of the school included many high-ranking students on standardized tests despite the fact that they studied two curricula in the same amount of time. This line of success was carried on until 1998, when an educational crisis involving schools offering vocational religious education occurred in Turkey. In spite of this, the school’s successes did not cease. In 2013, an English-Arabic bilingual preparatory year was introduced and the first steps towards being an international school was taken, among which was the establishment of the Model UN Club. With this, the school has once again corroborated its motive to help students excel at both national and international fields. This approach has conducted to the students with perspectives on a broad and dappled basis, and raising them as cultivated peers, allowing them to have unbiased mindsets. As a result of this, the school became the only state school to offer IGCSE curriculum and the second to offer IB, being the leading Anadolu Imam Hatip high school in addition to numerous social activities and thus reaching a high national and international reputation.
The majority of the students speak Turkish as a native language. The school has one of the largest numbers of foreign-born students among state schools in Turkey as an outcome of the schools embracing approach and indulgent accreditation policy. Majority of the students are highly proficient in English, while remaining of them currently take their classes in English as a part of the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) program. In addition to their bilingual Quran, Fiqh and Hadith classes in Turkish and Arabic, students take Basic Religious Studies and Sirat Al-Nabi (Prophetic Biography) classes entirely in Arabic, alongside their speaking-oriented Arabic classes.
The school also has sister schools in Canada, Indonesia, Kosovo, Jordan and Northern Cyprus, whom it has active relations and often visits with, and partner schools in England and Denmark with whom they cooperate for international projects.