|This article is in the category Cretan Turks, but no reliable sources are cited to verify its inclusion. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Selcuk was born in the western Turkish Aydın Province in 1925. His mother, who was Armenian, hid her Armenian roots. He earned a law degree from Istanbul University in 1950. He began writing for magazines and newspapers after his graduation. He also authored numerous books and novels. His works included Ağlamak ve Gülmek (Laughing and Crying), Japon Gülü (Japanese Rose), Ziverbey Köşku (Ziverbey Mansion), Güzel Amerikalı (The Beautiful American) and Düşünüyorum Öyleyse Vurun (I Think, Therefore Shoot Me).
Selcuk was the editor in chief of the Cumhuriyet, a secular Turkish daily newspaper. He was detained on March 21, 2008, as part of the Ergenekon investigation. Colleagues and opposition politicians, including Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People's Party, blamed Selcuk's detention and investigation for Selcuk's declining health and death. Selcuk was released the following day and placed on trial without an arrest.
İlhan Selçuk died in Istanbul of multiple organ failure on June 21, 2010, at the age of 85. He had been hospitalized at the Vehbi Koç Foundation American Hospital since January 24, 2010, for treatment of ischemic brain disease and a recent stroke. Selçuk was buried in the Hacıbektaş district of Nevşehir next to his brother, Turhan Selçuk, a caricaturist who died in March 2010.
- "Turkish journalist İlhan Selçuk died". National Turk. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "Legendary Turkish journalist İlhan Selçuk dies at 85". Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review. 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "İlhan Selçuk annesinin Ermeni olduğunu gizledi mi?". Radikal (in Turkish). Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "'İlhan Selçuk, annesi Ermeni diye Harp Okulu'na alınmadı'". T24. Retrieved 24 May 2013.