Sabanci Foundation
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1974-1983 1984-1993 1994-2003 2004-2013 2014-.... 2004-2013



Between the years 1994 and 2003, while the Foundation's support to education reaches its climax with the opening of Sabanci University which will soon become a world university, the Foundation continues to diversify its efforts according to social needs and to provide services at new activity areas.

As one of the new activities, the Foundation starts to reward people with outstanding achievements in the fields of education, culture, arts and sports.

With the opening of the doors of the Sabanci University Sakip Sabanci Museum to visitors, one of Turkey's most qualified and pioneer museums, the Foundation adds a new permanent value to Turkey's cultural and artistic life.

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During this period, the Foundation carries out many activities, such as the commissioning of Metin Sabanci Center and Besiktas Municipality Dilek Sabanci Park and supporting Special Olympics, which aims at providing support to persons with disabilities to benefit from basic rights and services and to maintain their integration to the community at every level.

In order to preserve and promote cultural richness of Turkey and to convey them to future generations, the Foundation starts to provide support for Turkish Folk Dances Contest, Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival and the excavations at the ancient city of Metropolis.

By the end of 2003, the total number of institutions bestowed on Turkey by the Foundation reaches 109.

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In addition to being the 20th year of the establishment of the Foundation, 1994 also becomes the year that the Foundation starts to award people who have outstanding performances in the fields of education, culture and arts.

The Foundation starts to give Sakip Sabanci Education Awards to students who graduated with honors from the schools named Sakip Sabanci and Sakip Sabanci Art Awards to students who graduated with honors from the Painting, Sculpture and Traditional Turkish Arts departments of Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts.

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Again in this year, the Foundation starts to support Turkish Folk Dances Contest, organized for the purpose of protection and promotion of cultural and folkloric values of our country.

Dokuz Eylul University Sabanci Cultural Center becomes operational. Teachers' Centers in Findikli – Rize, Gemerek - Sivas and Esme - Usak enter the list of institutions built by the Foundation.

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The Foundation starts to give Police College and Police Academy Awards to police candidates studying in these institutions to be trained for protecting lives, properties and rights of citizens.

The decision to establish Sabanci University is taken also in 1994.


Established by the Sabanci Family with a mission to contribute to social and cultural life of Turkey, Sabanci Foundation becomes Turkey's largest family foundation with an asset size of 251 billion TL in the currency of the day.

Teachers' centers in Gaziantep, Giresun, Isparta, Konya and Nevsehir, a girls' dormitory in Hatay, Toyotasa Emergency Hospital, a modern traffic hospital in Sakarya, are the institutions that the Foundation constructed in this year.

Also in 1995, the Foundation increases its support to persons with disabilities and starts to award the medal-winning athletes at the Special Olympics.

Sabanci Foundation | 40 Years

Another major development in 1995 is the search conference to define the philosophy of Sabanci University that is to be established. The conference hosts world's most respected scientists and scholars from universities in Turkey and abroad.


Being aware that the future of the textile industry depends on the quality of the workforce, Sabanci Foundation launches the Textile Engineering Department at Cukurova University, as its third largest project for higher education.

Teachers' centers in Aydin, Bilecik and Canakkale are commissioned and these provinces are added to the list of the provinces where facilities are provided by Sabanci Foundation.

Metin Sabanci Center is put into service with an aim to provide better care and health services for children and teenagers with special requirements and to help them socialize.

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The gold medal winner Turkish athletes at the Olympic Games in Atlanta are awarded by Sakip Sabanci in recognition of their achievements.

Also in 1996, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey approves the law granting the right to establish and operate higher education institutions to private foundations, which would pave the way for the founding of Sabanci University.


1997 will be remembered as the golden year, since the total number of schools, dormitories, teachers' centers, libraries, cultural centers, healthcare centers, sports facilities and social facilities, built by Sabanci Foundation throughout Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, exceeded 100.

Sabanci Congress and Exhibition Center, which is one of the privileged institutions of the Foundation with its unique architecture and contributions to the cultural and commercial life of Antalya, opens its doors in the same year.

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Again in 1997, Turkan Sabanci Primary and Vocational School for the Blind becomes operational with the goal of providing pre-school and primary education and vocational training for blind or children with partial visual impairment.

As one of the most exciting developments of 1997, Sabanci University's groundbreaking ceremony takes place.


Haci Sabanci expresses his feelings by saying "The Sabanci Family is working hard not to hand off the flag to anybody in this relay race of social work. This is our 105 th institution" at the ceremony held for Beylerbeyi High School's renovation and getting the name of Haci Sabanci High School.

One of the most successful recent examples of Classical Ottoman style architecture and named as the "Pearl of Adana" as it can be seen all over the city, Sabanci Central Mosque is opened for worship. The Mosque, which occupies 60 thousand square meters and has a seating capacity of 28,500, becomes the biggest mosque in Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East.

Increasing its contribution to art with each passing day, the Foundation starts to support Sabanci International Adana Theater Festival in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the State Theaters in 1998.

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Haci Sabanci, the President of the Foundation since its inception for 24 years, passes away in 1998.

Following the passing of Haci Sabanci, Sakip Sabanci assumes the position of the Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation in 1998 and carries this mission of serving the country that he took over from his brother until 2004.

Sabanci Foundation | 40 Years

Year 1999 has a very special place in the history of Sabanci Foundation. As being the foundation that endows more institutions to Turkey than any other private organization, the Foundation crowned its 25th year with a historical breakthrough. Soon after the enrollment of its first students in October 1999, Sabanci University proves that the Sabanci Family strongly stands behind their claim of "building a world class university".

The Foundation spends lots of time and energy for Sabanci University as its major work, while at the same time, continues its philanthropic activities.

Sabanci Foundation | 40 Years

Sabanci Foundation continues to set an example to society with its philanthropic activities in 1999 by helping the victims of Marmara Earthquake disaster that caused immense grief across the nation. Sabanci Partners and Employees Primary School, built in the earthquake zone by the donations of Sabanci Group companies, associates and employees, becomes one of the important indicators of this sensitivity.


As of year 2000, Sabanci Foundation's contribution to the public budget through its 107 institutions reaches 146 trillion TL in the currency of the day.

In 2000, Sakip Sabanci is selected the "Honorary President" of the European Special Olympics Games in the Netherlands, which is organized for the athletes with mental disabilities, for his support in organizing the Games. 14 Turkish athletes who won 41 medals at the Games are rewarded with Sakip Sabanci Sports Awards.

Sabanci Foundation | 40 Years

Commissioned in the same year, Metin Sabanci Baltalimani Osteopathic Training and Research Hospital, becomes Turkey's first and only special branch training hospital that provides education and research in the fields of orthopedics and traumatology, besides offering high level healthcare services.


Dilek Sabanci, following in the footsteps of his father Sakip Sabanci, launches Dilek Sabanci Education Awards to be given to the successful students who graduated with high ranks from the schools bearing her name and to the most successful teachers of the same schools.

Turkish Sports Federation for the Mentally Handicapped, which Sakip Sabanci and Dilek Sabanci exert great effort during the establishment process, is founded. With this establishment, the Foundation takes another significant step towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities in social life; as with it has been supporting through its rehabilitation centers and other facilities for a long time.

Sabanci Foundation's another service to the cultural life is its major contribution to restoration and reopening of the First Grand Assembly Building (Liberation War Museum).

Sabanci Foundation | 40 Years

When Atli Kosk (the Horse Mansion), which was used as a residence by the Sabanci Family for many years and allocated to Sabanci University in 1998, opens its doors to visitors with valuable collections as the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Sakip Sabanci's one of the greatest dreams comes true.

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The Museum further expands and takes significant steps towards becoming a museum of international standards in the coming years; and hosts the collections of biggest names of modern art including Picasso, Dali, Rodin, Rembrandt and Monet.

Specifically designed for persons with disabilities and enabling the participation of children with disabilities in activities without any assistance, Besiktas Municipality Dilek Sabanci Park opens.


2003 becomes a special year for Sabanci Foundation that has spent great effort for integration of persons with disabilities into society since its establishment.

During the year, pioneering projects like "Support an Athlete" organized to send more athletes with mental disabilities to Special Olympics from Turkey and "recruit persons with disabilities", initiated by Sabanci University, are carried out. As a result of these efforts, Dilek Sabanci is honored with important awards due to her financial and moral support. The "Women and Sport Award", given by the International Olympic Committee to role models contributing to sports, becomes one of the most striking of these awards.

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Founded four years ago, Sabanci University enjoys the pride and happiness of organizing the first graduation ceremony for its first graduates.

Education Reform Initiative is established within the University with the participation of the Foundation in the Initiative's Executive Board.

Beginning in 2003, the Foundation starts to support the excavation in the ancient city of Metropolis, located in the Torbali district of Izmir.