Actor, director, novelist and scenarist (b. 1937, Siverek / Şanlıurfa – d. 9 September 1984, Paris). He attended the Adana High School for Boys (1955). He left the Ankara University, Faculty of Law and the İstanbul University, Faculty of Economics. He worked in various jobs during his years at the university. He gained fame with his performance as an actor and a director in cinema as well as with his scenarios. He published the stories that he wrote in his juvenile years with his real name (Yılmaz Pütün). The short story Ölüm Beni Çağırıyor (Death Calls for Me), published in the issue 32 of the review Yeni Ufuklar with the name Y. Pütün was the first work of Yılmaz Güney to be published in a review. Besides, he published his essays in the reviews Varlık, Yeni Ufuklar and Pazar Postası. In 1978, he published the review Yeni Güney.
In 1961, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and six months in exile in Konya, because of his short story with the title Üç Bilinmeyenli Eşitsizlik Sistemleri (The Systems of Inequality with Three Variables) published in the review Onüç (1958). He was arrested after the military coup on 12 March 1971, with the claim of participating in political activities, and was acquitted soon (1972). In 1974, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for killing the public attorney of Yumurtalık (1976). When he was released on a permission of holiday, he fled to France, and spent the rest of his life there.
He received the Orhan Kemal Novel Award in 1972 with his novel he wrote in prison titled Boynu Bükük Öldüler (They Died in Destitute, 1971). The novels Hücrem (My Cell), Salpa (Aweigh), and Sanık (The Accused), usually called “The Trilogy of Selimiye” were the result of his days in prison for the second time, and his last novel Soba, Pencere Camı ve İki Ekmek İstiyoruz (We Want a Stove, a Glass for the Window and Two Loafs of Bread) and Oğluma Hikâyeler (Stories for My Son) were written during his third imprisonment. He was selected as the artist of the year in 1972, due to his success in acting. He starred in several films, which he wrote himself. Some of his films such as Umut (Hope), and Arkadaş (Friend) attracted great interest, and the film Sürü (The Herd), which was written by Yılmaz Güney, received various awards at home and abroad (1978-79). Another film on his own scenario, namely Yol (The Road), shared the grand award at the Cannes Festival in 1982 with the film “Missing” by Costa Gavras.
NOVEL: Boynu Bükük Öldüler (They Died in Destitute, 1971, first edition titled “Boynu Bükükler” -The Destitute, 1966), Hücrem (My Cell, 1975), Salpa (Aweigh, 1975), Sanık (The Accused, 1975), Soba Pencere Camı ve İki Ekmek İstiyoruz (We Want a Stove, a Glass for the Window and Two Loafs of Bread, 1977), Selimiye Üçlüsü (The Trilogy of Selimiye, Hücrem-My Cell, Salpa-Aweigh, and Sanık-The Accused published in one, 1979).
FILM STORY: Yunan Bıçağı (The Greek Knife, 1979).
SCENARIO: Seyyit Han (Seyyit
Han, 1968), Umut (Hope, 1970), Arkadaş (The Friend, 1974), Endişe
(Anxiety, 1974), Sürü (The Herd, 1978), Umutsuzlar, Ağıt, Baba (Those
Hopeless, Mourning, Father, 1976), Aç Kurtlar (Hungry Wolves, 1977), Hudutların
Kanunu (The Law of Boundaries,
MEMOIR: Selimiye Mektupları (Letters of Selimiye, 1976).
SHORT STORY: Oğluma Hikâyeler (Stories for My Son, 1979).
PAMPHLET: Seçimlerde CHP Neden Desteklenmelidir? (Why Support the Republican People’s Party at the Elections?, 1977), Faşizm Üzerine (On Fascism), Paris Komünü (Paris Commune, 1979).
ESSAY: Siyasal Yazılar (Political Essays, 2001).