She was born on 30 October 1915 in Istanbul, then Ottoman Empire. Her father, Cevdet Ferit, was a lawyer and lecturer of criminal procedure at Darülfünun, in what is today Istanbul University; her mother was Ayşe Nikfal. She had two sisters, Şeküre and Gülgün.
She completed her primary and secondary education in Lycée Notre Dame de Sion Istanbul, and took the academic qualification Baccalauréat (diploma) in French and Turkish at Galatasaray High School. In 1933, she entered Istanbul University for legal education. She graduated from the faculty of law with honors in 1936.
She took the family name Basman when the Turkish Surname Law went into effect in 1934. In 1943, she married journalist and writer
Şevket Rado (1913–1988), with whom she had a son, Mehmet. Their marriage lasted until the death of her spouse.
Türkan Rado died on 3 March 2007 at the age of 91 in a hospital in Istanbul three days into her hospitalization. She was interred at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery following the religious funeral service held at Teşvikiye Mosque. She was survived by her son, Mehmet Rado, and grandson, Ömer Kerim Rado. She was the maternal aunt of Orhan Pamuk (born 1952), novelist, screenwriter, academic, and the first Turkish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (2006).