Çetin İnanç was born in Ankara. He dropped out of law school in his sophomore year in İstanbul due to his passion for cinema. 

İnanç started working in simple jobs such as clapper at Yerli Film, the company Orhan Günşiray and Atıf Yılmaz had founded, in the early 1960s. He worked as first and second AD with Atıf Yılmaz, and Lütfi Ö. Akad in the first Turkish cinemascope film Sırat Köprüsü (1966), Hudutların Kanunu / Law of the Border (1966), KurbanIık Katil (1967) and Vesikalı Yarim / My Prostitute Love (1968). His directorial debut was at Yılmaz Atadeniz's production firm with the film Çelik Bilek (1967). He is the most credited filmmaker in Turkish cinema, but his celebrity status came with the western Çeko (1970) and the cult film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam / The Man Who Saved the World (1982). 

Between 1969 and 1982, he made around 190 films, which he claims is a world record, across all genres that were in demand from western to sci-fi, from adventure to erotic comedy, and serial fantastic films, which he admits he was a fan of since his childhood. After 1982, he made films for video, and after 1991, he directed TV series including the popular Polis, Çılgın Bediş, and a 13-episode Cüneyt Arkın documentary. He is nicknamed "jet director" for his capability to complete films with immense swiftness due to lack of time, finances, and production facilities.