Güney was born in 1923 in Limassol, Cyprus. He began painting while he was a student in high school. After graduating from the Teachers Training College, he started working as an arts teacher in 1948.
From 1948 to 1977 he attended Lefkoşa Erkek Lisesi teaching Art and History. In 1956, he met artist Ibrahim Çallı and worked with him until 1960.
In 1947, Güney became the first Turkish Cypriot painter to open a solo art exhibition. Güney had many solo exhibitions as well as participating in group exhibitions both in Cyprus and abroad. In 1967, a scholarship enabled him to study at Belfast Queen’s University’s Stranmills College. In 1986 he had a grand retrospective exhibition in Nicosia. Towards the end of his life he worked on graphics and color-separation in North Cyprus.
İsmet Güney died of cancer on June 23, 2009, at the age of 85.