She graduated from Notre Dame de Sion High School, Erenköy Girls’ High School and the Department of Turkish Language and Literature at Istanbul University (1968). She worked as a high school teacher for a short period. She started working at the Turcology Institute as a reader (1970) and at the Department of New Turkish Literature as an assistant (1975). She was one of Mehmet Kaplan’s assistants as the third progeny of teacher-assistant circle that started with Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and his student Mehmet Kaplan (along with Abdullah Uçman and İnci Enginün). She received her PhD with her thesis entitled “A Research on Turkish Translations of Victor Hugo’s Works from 1865 to 1910); in 1974 she became a doctor of literature. She became an associate professor with her thesis entitled “The Elements of Western Life Style in the Works of Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil” in 1980. When she was the head of the Department of Turkish Language and Literature at Mimar Sinan University, she retired. She published her articles and translations in journals such as Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı, Türkiyat Mecmuası, Türk Edebiyatı, Hareket, Dünya Edebiyatından Seçmeler, Tarih Dergisi and Milli Kültür.
Lastly, she unearthed and published Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s diaries with İnci Enginün. Along with Tanpınar, it is said that “she has helped make Mehmet Kaplan and Ahmet Haşim’s works better understood today” (Yakup Öztürk). Handan İnci prepared The Book of Zeynep Kerman as a token of gratitude for Kerman’s efforts for Turkish literature as an academic and a writer (2010). The book included her biography, works and anecdotes by her friends, along with essays that emphasise the diversity in her academic work and articles on literature that are dedicated to her.