The Story of Development
Atatürk University had a total of 135 students, 12 of whom were girls, when it started teaching with the Faculty of Agriculture and Science and Letters on November 17, 1958.
There were 3 visiting professors and 23 assistants in the academic staff of the university which started with 2 departments in the Faculty of Agriculture and 3 departments in the Faculty of Science and Letters. With the opening of the Faculty of Medicine in February 1966, the number of faculties of the university increased. After that, that the studies to make the departments of science, letters and economics-business within the Faculty of Science and Letters separate faculties resulted in November, 1968. In January 1969, Atatürk University had now five faculties including Agriculture, Medicine, Letters, Science and Business Administration. Meanwhile, in 1969, the number of academicians at the university reached 380 and the number of students reached 733. The passing years have witnessed the rapid development of both the structural state and the academic competence of Atatürk University.
After years, the first development that brought the title of "university establishing universities" to Atatürk University was realized in 1971. ''The İçel Directorate of University Establishment and Sustaining Association'', in 1971, demanded the Ministry of National Education to let Atatürk University establish a medical school in Mersin. The Ministry received opinions from Atatürk University related to this subject. The authorized board of university declared a favorable opinion by honorably accepting that such an assignment being only given to Atatürk University. Later on, the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Adana under the name of Çukurova Medical Faculty was finalized. The necessary preparations were completed in a short time and the first grade students started to be taught in Erzurum.
Atatürk University, which incorporated 9 higher education institutions including 8 faculties and one college, had 3 thousand 165 students and 547 teaching staff in 1971-1972 academic year.
From this date on, Atatürk University, which has gradually increased its effectiveness, recognizability and acceptability in domestic and abroad, as of today has been one of the most important touchstones of the Turkish higher education tradition and has become a "giant scientific city" with 23 faculties, 1 college, 1 conservatory, 12 vocational colleges, 8 institutes, 25 research centers, over 200.000 students, 2,600 teaching staff and 3,500 administrative staff.