Yakup Karahan was born in Divrigi, Turkey in 1964. While still in high school, he took courses by the famous Turkish comic artist Oguz Aral. In 1982, Karahan made his comics debut when his work was published in humor magazines like Girgir and Firt. He studied sculpting at the University of Hacettepe, where he graduated in 1989. In 1992, he moved to The Netherlands. There, he continued to contribute work to magazine Girgir but also to several promotional and informational booklets.
He has held several jobs, from teacher to restaurant owner to bank manager. As a freelance comic artist, he has specialized in cartoons about "integration problems for Turks in Europe", "the relationship between Europeans and Turks" and "culture shocks". He is one of the first artists to include Turkish minorities such as Kurds and Alevites in his work. He founded Dutch/Turkish magazine Vreemd, the first magazine to display work of Dutch and Turkish comic artists side by side.