Born in the town of Avanos in Nevşehir in 1959, Kesal completed his primary and elementary education in Avanos, and finished high school in Nevşehir. In 1984, he graduated from Ege University Faculty of Medicine. Between 1984 and 1990, he worked as doctor in the rural provinces of Ankara. In İstanbul, where he arrived in 1990, he participated in the private health industry and founded policlinics and medical centres. Currently, he chairs the executive board of Okmeydanı Private Hospital, which he founded in 1997. Between 2004-2006, he studied and completed his Master's Degree at İTİCÜ Institute of Social Sciences Department of Applied Psychology. Currently, he pursues a doctoral degree on Social Anthropology at Yeditepe University.
Beginning his acting career in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Distant, he also participated in the same director's Three Monkeys and Once Upon A Time In Anatolia as scriptwriter and actor, as well as performing in Vavien, Deep, Hair, Mould, Yozgat Blues, You Illuminate the Night, Woman Government (and its sequel) and I Am Not He. As actor and scriptwriter, he received many domestic and international awards.
His first poems and writings appeared in Period in İzmir, while he was a medical student. During his mandatory service, he wrote and conducted interviews in Final Prescription. He was a co-founder of Era Publishing and wrote articles for Schizophrenia, as well as penning stories and essays on Sundays in the dailies, Radikal and Birgün, which were later compiled. His book, titled Fairy Soda, was published by İletişim Publishing in 2013, while his Once Upon A Time was published by İthaki Publshing in 2014. His novella, titled Candidate If Suitable was published by İletişim Publishing in 2015. The artist is married to theatrical and cinematic actress Nazan Kesal, and father to Poyraz Kesal.