ITU was established in 1773, during the time of the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III. With its original name "Muhendishane-i Bahr-i Humayun", The Royal School of Naval Engineering, its responsibility was to educate chart masters and ship builders. In 1795, the "Muhendishane-i Berr-i Humayun", The Royal School of Military Engineering, was established to educate the technical staff in the army. In 1847, education in the field of architecture was also introduced.
Established in 1883, the School of Civil Engineering assumed the name 'Engineering Academy', with the aim of teaching essential skills needed in planning and implementing the country's new infrastructure projects. Gaining university status in 1928, the Engineering Academy continued to provide education in the fields of engineering and architecture until it was incorporated into ITU in 1944. Finally, in 1946, ITU became an autonomous university which included the Faculties of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
With a history stretching back 237 years, providing technical education within a modern educational environment and strong academic staff, ITU is strongly identified with architectural and engineering education in Turkey. Since its inception and foundation under Ottoman rule, ITU has constantly lead the way in reform movements, and in the latter era of the Republic of Turkey, ITU has assumed pivotal roles in the reconstruction, modernization, and administration of the country.
The efforts and expertise of ITU graduates have been major contributors in the planning and construction of Turkey's roads, bridges, dams, factories, buildings, energy plants, communication networks, villages and cities. ITU is a state university which defines and continues to update methods of engineering and architecture in Turkey. It provides its students with modern educational facilities while retaining traditional values, as well as using its strong international contacts to mould young, talented individuals who can compete in the global arena.