Livaneli published his first book A Child in Purgatory in 1978. His first novel, The Eunuch of Constantinople, received the Balkan Literary Award in 1997and was published in Spain, Korea, Greece, Switzerland, and Germany. In 2001, Livaneli's second novel, One Cat One Man One Death, received the Yunus Nadi Novel Award in Turkey. In 2003, Livaneli published his latest novel, Bliss.
Livaneli has also composed songs, ballets, theatrical scores, and soundtracks, and directed three feature films: Iron Earth, Copper Sky, Mist, and Shahmaran.