Educational development is one way through which Turkey enhances progress towards its social goals and prepares itself for European Union membership. A major effort to upgrade the Turkish educational system was made through a multi-phased comprehensive reform of the sector introduced during the 1990s. One part of this reform, perhaps most crucial to the long-term effectiveness of other developments in education, was a transformation of the approach to teacher education. This paper utilizes recently conducted research to assess the nature and extent of that reform as well as identifying the factors which enhanced its effectiveness. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.