Cinema actress. She was born on 12th December 1947 in Istanbul. She was the first daughter of the Bulgarian immigrant tradesman Sedat Koçyiğit and the housewife Melek Koçyiğit. She started her primary education in Istanbul and she finished it in Ankara after going back and forth. She started her art education in the ballet department of the Ankara Devlet Konservatuarı (T.N. Ankara State Conservatory). While she was attending her secondary education in Beşiktaş Atatürk High School, of which the old name was Atatürk Kız High School, she entered the İstanbul Şehir Tiyatroları (T.N. Istanbul City Theaters). She continued her high school education in the Department of Theater of the Ankara State Conservatory. She entered the cinema world by winning the contest organized by the Ses magazine in 1963. The same year, she made her first movie Susuz Yaz directed by David E. Durston and Metin Erksan. This movie earned the award of “Golden Bear” in the Berlin Film Festival, which was the biggest award given to the Turkish cinema so far. Hülya Koçyiğit is still our only cinema actress who earned the highest number of awards in local and foreign film festivals.
Koçyiğit, who took education in the Department of Ballet in the Ankara State Conservatory, lived a happy childhood. Her mother Melek Hanım who had a big effect in her daughter to take ballet and piano lessons, established a big discipline within the house. Hülya, who was the daughter of a mother and father who were in love with each other, was also very fond of her father. Upon the suggestion of Muhsin Ertuğrul, who was “the father of all of us” according to her, she started to take theater education at the Ankara State Conservatory. Koçyiğit, whose two sisters are theater players at İstanbul Şehir Tiyatroları (T.N. Istanbul State Theatres), found the opportunity to meet the famous actors of the period, including Muhterem Nur, in the movie set of “Bir Yetim’in Hasreti”, in which her sister Nilüfer played a part. Later on, when Metin Erksan chose her sister for playing in the movie “Çocuk Hırsızları”, she found the opportunity to meet the famous director and this meeting would be the milestone in her life. Even though it was the first time that Koçyiğit appeared in front of the audience, she became successful in the movie Susuz Yaz dated from 1963 and directed by Metin Erksan and David E. Durston. The movie that brought the “Berlin Golden Bear” award to Erksan was mentioned a long time due to the success it achieved, because this award was the biggest award given to the Turkish cinema until that day. Koçyiğit, who was given the opportunity of acting in such a successful movie while she was a student, was torn between her education life and acting. The efforts of her classmate Salih Güney to convince her to return to the school were not successful. Koçyiğit decided to choose Yeşilçam that run around from one movie set to the other.
The expression used for Koçyiğit who faced the great interest of the press after Susuz Yaz was “A new star is rising”. Koçyiğit, who followed Ayhan Işık’s example because of his commitment in his principles and his reputable personality, felt herself lucky since she was in the same set together with the players whom she watched previously with admiration. Ayhan Işık established some regulations referred as “the Rules of Ayhan Işık” in order to provide the creation of working standards in the Yeşilçam of that period. Koçyiğit was pursuing Işık and she was acting on the light of these rules in order to make her business reputably.
Koçyiğit, who had a big influence in the improvement of Fikret Hakan and Sadri Alışık, the leading actors of the period, was enshrined in her audience’s hearts with movies such as Vurun Kahpeye, Yıldızların Altında, Yalancı, Hıçkırık and Dudaktan Kalbe. Koçyiğit, who wanted the usage of her own voice in movies, was influenced by Sadri Alışık and Çolpan İlhan who implemented this in that period.
Koçyiğit was making an effort for the adaptation of the local novels to the cinema and the subject of these works seemed more realistic and the characters seemed stronger to her. She had a big contribution in the adaptation of the works of Kerime Nadir, Muazzez Tahsin Berkant, Esat Mahmut Karakurt, Halide Edip Adıvar and Peride Celal to the cinema and she played the role of the heroes of these novels for a long duration. Among them, the character of “Kezban” from the novel of Orhan Aksoy that was turned into a screenplay was very associated with Koçyiğit. “Kezban” was a character coming from Anatolia and despised because she was a provincial, but she instructed herself and became rich and didn’t change after gaining this power and protected her humanistic values. The actress thought that the role of “Kezban” was glued on her and wanted to play different characters in order to elude from this. Koçyiğit, who played the role of “Sokak Kızı İrma” (T.N. Irma, the Woman from the Street) in the movie named Kırmızı Fener Sokağı, got a big reaction from the audience. Koçyiğit, who appeared in front of the audience with the roles of the mother of Ediz Hun and the mistress of Cüneyt Arkın, found the opportunity to improve her acting in different types of movies and in different roles. The actress, who was always associated to good roles and who made a name for herself with the sincere relationship she established with the audience, always wanted to be in a higher, more sophisticated and challenging point in her cinema career.
The actress, who generally worked with the director Orhan Aksoy, also liked very much Ömer Lütfü Akad as a director. Koçyiğit, who acted in the trilogy of Gelin, Düğün, Diyet and the movie Gökçe Çiçek of this famous director, found a big support from Akad concerning her cinema quest. After that, the artist played the leading role as previously in important movies such as Almanya Acı Vatan, Firar, Derman, Kurbağalar, Evlidir Ne Yapsa Yeridir directed by Şerif Gören. The artist worked previously as a singer.
Hülya Koçyiğit took the title of State Artist in 1991. She presided during four years the Sinema Oyuncuları Derneği (T.N. Movie Artists Institution) (SO-DER) that she founded. Koçyiğit, who started to work in the board of management after the duty of presidency, was also involved with political works for a period. She married Selim Soydan who played football in Fenebahçe in this period and her daughter named Gülşah came to the world from this marriage. Her daughter Gülşah played parts in several cinema movies in young ages.