Yüzüncü Yıl University was established with the Decree Law Numbered 41 in 20 July 1982. However, the attempt to establish a university in the eastern regions of Turkey began a long time ago.
The idea of establishing a university in Van is very old and dates back before Republic. It is understood from the order of Ottoman Sultan Il.
Abdulhamit dated in 03 October 1905 for giving permission to Taha Efendi who was representative of Chief of Van for constructing a madrasah and lodge on an empty land in Van known as the old hospital". In addition, it is understood from 3 letters dated 03 July 1913 sent from Grand Viziership to General Directorate of Councils and Ministry of Internal Affairs for the recollection of the cost of construction of the darülfunun (university) desired to be opened in Van and being mentioned with the name of sultan and it is also understood that a special importance is given to the University desired to be opened in Van.
In 1927, President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk sent Mustafa Necati Bey, the Minister of National Education, to Van to conduct investigations; Mustafa Necati thought that it was necessary to establish a university in Van. In 1928, the teacher Ferit Nur (Kuran) Bey was sent to Van and he was asked to convert the current secondary school into high school and he was asked to form the core of the university which was planned to be constructed.
On November 1, 1937, in his opening speech at Turkish Grand National Assembly, Atatürk said "in order to create a modern cultural city with a primary school and finally a university in the best part of the Van Lake shores for the eastern region, the activities must already start For this purpose, he sent Saffet Arıkan who was the Minister of National Education to Van for the land determination. At the beginning of November 1938, in the opening speech of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Atatürk mentioned about the development of Istanbul University, the completion of Ankara University and the establishment of East University around Van Lake within the principles determined with the studies concluded, continues rapidly and significantly.