She was born in 1972. She graduated from the Department of International Relations and Political Sciences in Boğaziçi University and Glion Hotel School in Switzerland. She worked as a hotel manager, writer (Boğaziçi, TimeOut İstanbul) and editor (Chat, Travel+Leisure). She currently works as a public relations director in Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul.
The short stories, articles, reviews, travel notes and translations that she produced after her graduation, were published in the journals and supplements such as Kitap-lık, Radikal Kitap, Radikal Cumartesi and TimeOut İstanbul. She recieved “Short Story That is Worthy of Praise” award in Yaşar Nabi Youth Awards in 1993.
Her short story “Vulgata” was included in the short story collection, titled One Thousand and Two Nights, published by Metis Publishing in 2005. Her first short story collection, Association of Dream Merchants ws published in 2006 (Artemis Publishing). Her short story, “Zobar and Başa” was included in the short story collection TimeOut İstanbul Stories (May 2007) and “Bozkırkurdu Meeting with its Mozart” was included in the short story collection Bozcaada Stories (Yitik Ülke Publishing, September 2009). Her articles “Hunter of Big Cities” (2010) and “Sky Cake with Groundnuts” were included in the book of İTEF İstanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival.
She published her second short story collection, Exile in 2010 (Everest Publishing, March 2010) in which she wrote about various subjects such as Iraq occupation of America, being a woman in Batman, experimental dogs in Sulukule, Pippa and Hrant Dink and with her book, she received the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature which is organized by Europe Commission, European Booksellers Federation and Federation of European Publishers and is given to the “best” or “rising” writers of the countries that are members of the Europe Culture Programme. Çiler İlhan is a member of PEN.