Born February 3, 1825 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Turner moved with his parents to Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1826. He completed preparatory studies. He moved to Ballard County, Kentucky, in 1843. He was graduated from the law department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1847. Commonwealth attorney 1851–1855. He was admitted to the bar and practiced until 1861. He served in the Kentucky State Senate 1867–1871.
Turner was elected as an Independent Democrat to the Forty-sixth Congress, as a Democrat to the Forty-seventh Congress, and as an Independent Democrat to the Forty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885). He resumed the practice of law. He died in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 22, 1896. He was interred in Cave Hill Cemetery.