Welcome Pack for ESRs

First of all, congratulations to all of you to become qualified as ESRs and be part of A2M2TECH. This “Welcome Pack” is prepared to guide you through different steps to take before and after your arrival.

Brief Information about Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir)

Ankara: Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a population (as of 2019) of 5,5 million, and a mean elevation of 850 m (2800 ft). It was formerly known as Angora. The Hittites gave it the name Ankuwash before 1200 BC, the Galatians and Romans called it Ancyra, and in the classical, Hellenistic, and Byzantine periods it was known as Ánkyra. Ankara also serves as the capital of the Province of Ankara. Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the center of Turkey's highway and railway networks, and serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), white rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region's muscat grapes.

Ankara is situated upon a steep and rocky hill, which rises 150 m above the plain on the left bank of the Enguri Su, a tributary of the Sakarya (Sangarius) river. The city is located at 39°52'30" North, 32°52' East (39.875° N 32.8333° E). Ankara is one of the driest places in Turkey and is surrounded by a barren steppe vegetation, with various Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. It has a harsh, dry continental climate with cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn. The hill which overlooks the city is crowned by the ruins of the old castle, which adds to the picturesqueness of the view, but only a few historic structures surrounding the old citadel have survived to our date. There are, however, many finely preserved remains of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine architecture, the most remarkable being the Temple of Augustus and Rome (20 BC) which is also known as the Monumentum Ancyranum.

Istanbul: Augusta, Antonina, Nova Roma, Byzantion, Byzantium, Constantinople and finally Istanbul… These exciting names reminds the mysterious and enchanting past of the city. Istanbul can be considered as the combination of the old and modern city, as well as Islamic and Mediterranean mixture of cultures in a captivating atmosphere. There are only few cities in the world that can be so delightful to experience and enjoy as Istanbul. Istanbul is a magical composition of two continents. And especially the Bosphorus, Istanbul Strait will cheer up your hearts. Aside from being the largest and most popular city of Turkey, Istanbul is also the biggest cultural and financial center of Turkey. Istanbul is considered to be the bridge that links Asia with Europe from a cultural and geographical standpoint. Istanbul is located partly in Asia and the other part in Europe. Its geographical position as well as its rich history are responsible for a fascinating melting pot of cultures. Tourists are flocking to experience this magical city full of contrasts for themselves, making it the 5th most popular tourist destination in the world. Istanbul is also one of the most lively metropolises in the world (having more than 15 million residents) that offers variety of intercontinental events, international film, music and theater festivals, international biennials, and more than 80 museums and many art galleries showcase all the culture, arts and history; including painting, sculpture, photography and more.

Izmir: Izmir is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Turkey and the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, Izmir is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey. Izmir owes its position as an economically and socially dynamic city to its location, climate and the fact that it has been a home to many different cultures and religions. Ancient Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans are just a few of the dozens of different civilizations that the city has hosted throughout its long history. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation, midway on the western Anatolian coast, it has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history. Izmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and the World University Games in 2005. In classical antiquity the city was known as Smyrna. Izmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and possibly even longer as an advanced human settlement. Set in an advantageous location at the head of a gulf in a deep indentation midway along the western Anatolian coast, the city has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history. Its port is Turkey's primary port for exports in terms of the freight handled and its free zone, a Turkish-U.S. joint-venture established in 1990, is the leader among the twenty in Turkey.

Brief Information about participating universities

Gazi University (GU): With 37.000 students (1.500 foreign), 11 faculties, 5 graduate schools, and 3 vocational colleges, Gazi University (GU), established in 1926 in Ankara, is top-10 University in Turkey mainly focusing on science and technology. Having strong laboratories and research centers in the fields of “life sciences”, “photonics” and “additive manufacturing”, Gazi University has been classified as a “research university” to foster “research and development” activities together with industry and other university/institutions. It has played an important role in the development of Turkey with its academic and technological achievement and proved its success in education both nationally and internationally, thus providing an excellent environment for the development of the doctoral programme. Established by Gazi University in 2017, the Additive Manufacturing Technologies Application and Research Center (EKTAM)1 is the National Center of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing to accelerate the deployment of this technology and develop novel materials, products and services in the advanced materials, advanced and additive manufacturing value-chains regarding process design, modelling & simulation, materials, post-processing, product, certification and end-life, with the aim of developing a set of technologies, materials and processes that could be applied to the AM field.

Middle East Technical University (METU): Middle East Technical University, is a well-established, non-profit, public university, established in 1956 in Ankara, Turkey with a 4500 hectares of campus area. METU currently holds 15,800 undergraduate and 7,150 graduate students. There are over 1500 international students over 70 different countries. METU has 1,125 academic staff and 1,380 research assistants. A wide spectrum of international COST, EUREKA, MEDA, NATO, NSF, UN, World Bank, Jean Monnet projects have also been carried out by METU researchers. Today, METU pursues a much broader of fundamental and applied research by the help of fully equipped laboratories in each department (including the Central Laboratory) in terms of extensive range of state of the art equipment. METU has 323 ongoing national projects in addition to the 75 International projects of which 39 are ongoing EU FP projects. Besides the ongoing projects there are about 100 international projects with a total budget of over 100 million € was completed in METU. The overall volume of grants awarded to METU is among the highest in Turkey. Research incomes account approximately for over 35% of total income of METU. METU had the greatest share in national research projects funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) in the last five years. Numerous basic, applied and social science research centers, such as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems Facilities (MEMS), Fuel Quality Control Laboratory (PAL), and Solar Energy Research Center (GUNAM), complement METU’s R&D resources. METU holds one of the largest collections in its library with 406,591 books, 76,630 e-books, 173,767 bound periodicals, 1249 journal subscriptions, 56,158 e-journal subscriptions, and 16,222 dissertations according to 2009 indices. METU involves in various international collaborations, there are 160 Erasmus agreements, 200 bilateral agreements and 20 joint degree programs as of 2010. Today METU pursues a much broader spectrum of applied and fundamental research through 5 Graduate schools with 93 masters and 61 doctorate programs and world-class education through 50 undergraduate disciplines within 5 faculties.

Istanbul Technical University (ITU): Istanbul Technical University was founded in 1773 as the Imperial School of Naval Engineering during Ottoman Empire, Istanbul Technical University (ITU) is now one of the leading state universities in Turkey with 36.442 students. The University offers 99 undergraduates and 179 graduate degree programs. ITU comprises 13 Faculties, 41 Departments, and 6 Graduate Institutes and Turkish Music Conservatory. ITU is a very long-established higher education institution and presents a powerful research base for scientists and for prospective researchers with its highly-developed research infrastructure. Providing technical education within a modern educational environment and strong academic staff, ITU is strongly identified with architectural and engineering education in Turkey. ITU is one of the leading research-intensive technical universities in Turkey. ITU is a research university. Its objective is handling problems at regional and global scale to be solved in fields, generating new ideas, developing new perspectives and creating new values. It meets the needs of researchers with intelligent young minds that it has molded. On the other hand, it is leading research in many areas, turning them into prototypes and providing adequate conditions. As being a pioneer university, carried out many projects throughout its 240 years history, it has shown that it is a research university capable of competing globally with ongoing and future projects.

Research: Being Turkey’s first technical university, ITU aims to create a new generation of technology and innovation to drive economic growth by conducting value-added and industrially applicable research. ITU’s researchers carry out research in the fields of engineering, core sciences, earth/planetary sciences, arts and social sciences. Particular research areas, in which the ITU researchers pursue discoveries and implement projects, are materials science, nanotechnology, aeronautics, mechatronics, biotechnology, renewable energy, sustainable building systems and design. ITU is one of the leading research-intensive technical universities in Turkey. Regarding EU funded research; ITU currently has 21 projects from 6th Framework Programme, 47 projects from 7th Framework Programme, 3 projects from MEDA Programme, 2 projects from MINERVA Programme, 1 project from Leonardo Da Vinci Programme, 1 project from MATRA Programme, 1 project from Grundtvig Programme, 1 Project from DG TREN Fund, 1 Project from Youth in Action Programme, 1 project from Black Sea Cross Border Cooperation Programme, 2 Projects from Life Long Learning Programme, 25 projects from Erasmus Plus Programme, 1 project from IPA Capacity Building in the Field of Climate Change in Turkey Grant Scheme Programme, 27 projects from Horizon 2020 Programme. Besides, ITU is actively involved in wide range of national projects. In this respect, ITU has around 10000 projects funded by different national research programmes since 2003.

Istanbul Technical University has an office called European Union Centre Research Office that gives information about EU Framework Programs and other EU Programs to the academic staff either by giving seminars, workshops ITU EU Centre Research Office works as a help desk office and gives technical guidance, information to the academic staff of ITU. ITU EU Centre Research Office has experts who have expertise in drafting and monitoring EU Programmes. ITU European Union Centre Research Office deals with work permits, residence permits of the foreign researchers who are working in EU Funded Research Programmes at Istanbul Technical University. Istanbul Technical University is one of the EURAXESS Service Centers in Europe. EURAXESS Service Centers were established to support foreign researchers in Turkey and to encourage Turkish researchers in the participation of the mobility programs of the European Union (EU), works in accordance with more than 200 other mobility centres currently established in the other member and associate countries of the EU. ITU has international accreditations testifying that the quality of its academic education I equivalent to that of the world’s leading universities. ITU has a world record by being accredited with is 23 departments by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the world’s foremost review organization in engineering education. ITU is the only university with the largest number of accredited departments worldwide. ITU, which is one of the world’s leading academic institutions also in the field of architecture, has American National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The Maritime Faculty has International Maritime Organization (IMO) accreditation. ITU is among 651-700 in QS rankings in 2020 and 501-600 in the Times Rankings in 2017.

Izmir Institute of Technology (IZTECH): Izmir Institute of Technology is one of the state universities in Turkey, established in 1992 with a view to offering a high level of education and carrying out research in technological fields. The medium of education at the Institute is English. It is one of the Turkish institute of technology, which is the most advanced models of technical universities in today’s world. Having first started with graduate programs in 1994 in the center of İzmir, the faculties have been admitting students to undergraduate programs as well since 1998. By 1999, the Institute gradually started moving to its campus area in Urla near Gülbahçe village from the center of İzmir, where it had functioned since its foundation. The institute, covering approximately 3,500 hectares of land, has a closed area of about 200,000 square meters for educational and research activities and it is still developing. Recently, IZTECH has been selected as a research university in Turkey out of 180 universities and hence included in a special program by the Higher Education Council of Turkey. The Institute’s educational and research activities are carried out in 12 undergraduates, 24 master’s and 13 doctorate programs with a total of 5.139 students, 3.354 of which are here for their undergraduate education. Currently, there are approximately 370 research projects supported by the State Planning Office (abbreviated as DPT in Turkish) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (abbreviated as TÜBİTAK in Turkish). Additionally, nearly 500 research projects are backed by IZTECH Research Funds. In accordance with its mission to encourage production of high added value, the institute is also home to the İzmir Technology Development Zone, which has become synonymous with the institute itself. Within this zone, about 150 firms operate in their relevant fields.

Do I need a visa before I arrive?

Depending on the agreement between Turkey and your country, you might be required to obtain a visa. However, this is not compulsory for your registration. PhD candidates can come with any type of visa and register to the selected university. In case you need a visa to come to Turkey, you are advised to visit the nearest Turkish Embassy/Consulate in your country with your acceptance letter. In case of your country has a visa exemption agreement with Turkey, you can directly come without a visa. For more details please check Turkish Foreign Ministry web page: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

Do I need a “Residence or Work Permit”?

Once you have signed the contract when you are in Turkey, you will apply to obtain a special permission which will allow you to stay and work in Turkey.

Health Insurance

After you have signed the contract as one of our ESRs you will be covered by “National Health System” and be entitled to get medical services at state hospitals. However, you may wish to have a travel health insurance before you come to Turkey.


We recommend that you stay at the dormitory of the hosting institutions and/or dormitories the hosting university suggests. Please keep in mind that ESRs studying their PhD at ITU (based in Istanbul), and IZTECH (based in İzmir) will be moving to Ankara after the completion of two semesters. Therefore, it may not be worth the effort to rent a flat for less than a year.

What kind of documents are needed to complete my registration?

You are requested to give all the original documents which are listed in the general and special eligibility (Eligibility) criteria plus personal photos.

After I have arrived in Turkey, how do I travel to the university?


Step 1: Use BELKO AIR or HAVAŞ bus service to reach the city center and land down in KIZILAY square.

Step 2: Follow the Metro sign and use the ANKARAY line and land down in Maltepe station for the department of Mechanical engineering of the GU. For METU, use Metro Line and land down in METU station for the department of the Mechanical engineering of the METU.


Step 1: Use HAVAŞ bus service to reach the city center and land down in TAKSIM square.

Step 2: Follow the Metro sign and use the M2 metro line and land down in İTÜ-Ayazağa station for the department of Mechanical engineering of the ITU.


Step 1: Use İZBAN tramway service to reach the HILAL station and transfer to the Metro line.

Step 2: Land down in last station (F. ALTAY) for the department of Mechanical engineering of the IZTECH.

Public Transport

Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir have well-established and convenient public transport. After gaining university student status, you can issue a Student Transport Card to use public transport with a discounted student fare.

Can I use my mobile phone once I am there?

For cell phones brought from abroad (not bought in Turkey), you must register it within 120 days after your last entry date to Turkey. If not, your phone will be blocked.

Turkish currency, Exchange Rate(s): You can use the following link for live currencies: www.bloomberght.com

Contact Detail: You can use the following e-mail address to get help on any issue related to the program: a2m2tech.cofund@gazi.edu.tr