She is a graduate of the Arnavutköy American Girl's (High) School. During her youth she worked with Yildiz Moran, the first formally educated female photographer in Turkey. Okyay is best known for translating the Harry Potter books, and for her positive and appreciative criticism in Radikal, a Turkish newspaper. Her son, Kutlukhan Kutlu, is also following his mother's footsteps and is accompanying her in translating the Harry Potter series.
Okyay has been translating since 1963. She started working as a journalist in 1976. She writes mainly about cinema, literature, jazz and sports. She is hailed as a milestone of modern translation in Turkey. She used to have two cats who were twins, named after the Weasley twins. A serious jazz aficionado, she was the host of a radio show in Turkey, and her playlist included mainly jazz standards.
- Ilk Romanim (My First Novel) novel, 1996
- 120 Filmde Seyriâlem (A Cinema Tour in 120 Films) selected movie critiques, 1996
- Çiçek Dürbünü (Kaleidoscope) collected essays, 1998
Her Major Translation Work
Ilk Dünya Hikayeleri YKY, 1999, ISBN 975-363-784-5
Türkiye Tatlari, YKY, 1999, ISBN 975-363-909-0
Yükseltin Tavan Kirisini, Ustalar ve Seymour - bir Giris, with Coskun Yerli, YKY, 1999, ISBN 975-363-318-1
Hayvanlar Çiftliği, YKY 2000
Harry Potter ve Sirlar Odasi, YKY 2001, ISBN 975-08-0295-0
Harry Potter ve Azkaban Tutsagi, with K. Kutlu, YKY 2001, ISBN 975-08-0311-6
Harry Potter ve Ates Kadehi, with K. Kutlu, YKY 2001, ISBN 975-08-0331-0
Fantastik Canavlar Nelerdir, Nerelerde Bulunurlar?, with Gül Sarioglu, YKY 2002, ISBN 975-08-0413-9
Harry Potter ve Zümrüdüanka Yoldasligi, with K. Kutlu, YKY 2003, ISBN 975-08-0645-X
Harry Potter ve Melez Prens, with K. Kutlu, YKY 2005, ISBN 975-08-0995-5