Novelist (b. 1952, İstanbul). He was brought up in Nişantaşı. He attended Robert College (1970) in İstanbul and then İstanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture for some time. He graduated from İstanbul University, Institute of Journalism (1977). He did his postgraduate studies at the institute he graduated from. At twenty two, he gave up everything and took up writing as his sole occupation.
He embarked on his career in literature with his poems published in the review Yeditepe (1970). Later, he focused on writing short stories and novels.
He came third at a competition held at the Antalya Film Festival. He ranked first with Mehmet Eroğlu at the Milliyet Novel Award in 1979 with his novel Karanlık ve Işık (Darkness and Light) and thus became well known. He collected the Orhan Kemal Award in 1983 and the Madaralı Award in 1984 with his novel Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları (Cevdet Bey and His Sons). He received the Prix de la Découverte Européenne in 1991 with the French translation of his Sessiz Ev (Silent House). He gained international fame with Beyaz Kale (The White Castle), which was published in 1985 and translated into many languages in 1990. He attended Columbia University in New York as a visiting scholar between 1985-1988. He collected the Prix France Culture award in 1990 with the French translation of his novel Kara Kitap (The Black Book). The only screenplay he wrote was filmed in 1991. His novel Benim Adım Kırmızı (My Name is Red, 1998) received many awards, including La Prix Du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France, the Grinzane Cavour in Italy in 2002 and the International Impac in Dublin in 2003. The latter award was accompanied by a award of €100,000 from the city of Dublin. His works have been translated into thirty-two languages. His statements on the Kurdish and Armenian problems have been matters of debate and criticism.
NOVEL: Karanlık ve Işık (Darkness and Light, 1980), Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları (Cevdet Bey and His Sons, 1982), Sessiz Ev (Silent House, 1983), Beyaz Kale (The White Castle, 1985), Kara Kitap (The Black Book, 1990), Yeni Hayat (New Life, 1994), Benim Adım Kırmızı (My Name is Red, 1998), Kar (Snow, 2002).
SCREENPLAY: Gizli Yüz (Hidden Face, 1992).
MEMOIR-ESSAY: Öteki Renkler (Other Colors, 1999), İstanbul (İstanbul, 2003).