Our History





THE ISTANBUL Foundation for Science and Culture was founded in 1979 in the Cağaloğlu district of Istanbul by Mustafa Sungur, Mehmet Emin Birinci and Mehmet Nuri Gülec, who were close disciplines of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi.

Foundations (waqfs), with their religious and legal identities and all their varieties, have pursued the goal of bringing morality, virtue, peace and happiness to society. Its scope of care includes not only human beings but also other living creatures.

Foundations, which are established to please Allah alone, have provided great contributions in the Muslim past, especially during the Ottomans. The verse of the Qur’an that "You will find what you have prepared for yourself in the sight of Allah" and the hadith with the meaning of "The best among people is the one who is beneficial to others" have stirred our ancestors to contest with one another in charity deeds.

One of the hadiths which are instrumental in the establishment and maintenance of waqfs is as follows:

"When the son of Adam dies, (every) good deed is cut off from him. Only three things are exceptional: almsgiving (sadaqah jariyah), knowledge left by him for the benefit of others, and good children who pray for him."

Sadaqah jariyah means charities that continuously pour good deeds and rewards and those rewards do not cease. These are all kinds of mosques, madrasahs, inns, baths, bridges and fountains for the benefit of the public, which are charitable institutions that will earn rewards for their founders as long as the world lasts.

Every beautiful corner of the world where the Ottoman rule existed is full of monuments which preserve the magnificent historical richness alive. These monuments constitute the best examples of charity and constantly shower rewards on the souls of our blessed ancestors.

The hadith mentioned above continues with the concepts of "useful knowledge" and "raising good children". These concepts practically constitute the main purpose of our Foundation.

What we need today above all else is to raise positive and good generations equipped with useful knowledge who will serve the nation and the country. We all know what disasters anarchy has cost us. The fact that anarchy emerges mostly from educated people with university degrees than from the ignorant ones, is a bitter example to support the nurture of positive generations.

We believe that knowledge will be beneficial if it is integrated with faith (tawheed). On the one hand, youth will enlighten their minds with positive knowledge in sciences, and, on the other hand, they will enlighten their hearts and consciences with faith. We believe that the generations who will grow up with the unity of mind and heart will be the driving force in constructing perfect and balanced developments in every aspect.

Hence, the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture directs its activities towards both science and culture. It is possible to raise our children positively who come to cosmopolitan cities from the pure bosom of Anatolia by equipping them with spiritual as well as material opportunities.

For this purpose, we place an importance to cultural activities, meetings, seminars and public events that will provide our youth with a sense of historical knowledge, patriotism and high human virtues. This is the way to protect our youth from harmful foreign cultures and model their positive personality.

Our foundation has carried out many auspicious activities since its establishment. We have set a goal to take these activities even further. Let us jointly serve in the fulfillment of these activities and in the upbringing of our youth as good generations and children.