He was born in Istanbul, Turkey (as Çeki Karyo), son of a Turkish father and a Greek mother, and grew up in Paris. He studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and later became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, playing many classical roles. After that, he joined the National Theatre of Strasbourg, starring in both contemporary and classical plays.
He has participated in many Hollywood movies, often portraying a French character, in the same fashion as Jean Reno.
He is married to Isabelle Pasco.