Izmir Mektebi Idadiye began its operations as an elementary school in 1888 in the old Izmir courthouse building with 120 students. The school, which had Abdurrahman Efendi as its first principle, was turned into a 7 year prep school in 1890 and an imperial school in 1910. The structure, which was used as a courthouse by the Greek during the invasion, served as a courthouse for a while after the declaration of the Republic.
When all the imperial schools in the country were turned into high schools, the building became a high school in the 1922-1923 educational year. The school, which was first named Izmir Erkek Lisesi and Izmir Birinci Erkek Lisesi, finally got the name Izmir Atatürk High School in 1942. The school is visited by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1931. Mustafa Kemal, who orders a test to ascertain the level of success in schools around Turkey, visits the school and joins a math class after he finds out that students from this school have scored high grades.