„I had the chance to have a lovely family and real friends. The rest was just flowing in time with music…”

He was born and raised in the city of Istanbul. Thanks to his older cousin’s cassette player, listening to music became a habit very fast. Turning point was the Vestel stereo cassette recorder. Knowing her son’s interest in music, his mother chose the stereo cassette player instead of a hoover, even they did not have a hoover at home.

Raffi Arslanyan
Raffi Arslanyan

With 12 years, he started to get classical guitar lessons by the great master Raffi Arslanyan. The first classical guitar was a Sanchez (Spain) and after one year it was replaced by Raimundo (Spain).


However, rock music was pulling him like a magnet day by day.  Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, Brian May and Slash were influencing more than the classical guitarists.

His guitarist friend and brother Timur Seyhan has been always a great motivation since knowing each other in 1990, in Cologne-Germany.

In the summer of 1992, he bought his first electro guitar, a Japan made stratocaster “Fernandes Revival” by the late Murat Sezen luthier guitar shop.
Shortly after that, Gary Moore album “Still got the blues” opened the world of
Blues Rock which was borrowed from brother Övünç Çınar, a blues guru already in teenage years. 

Timur and Özgür (Cologne, 1995)
With master Izi Eli (2017)

The biggest milestone was the summer of 1994, when a friend (Murat Ünel) gave him Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray and Cry of love albums. It was a new world and such an amazing inspiration for searching of ways how to learn that kind of playing. That lead him to the guitar master Izi Eli same year.

A very special person and having rock music in his blood, Izi was an excellent teacher who showed him the right methods to improve his technic. Most of all, how to play with feeling.

In 1995, the first band “The Rookies” was started with Onur Birsöz and Erhan Yürük. They played as 3 lead guitars in the band and those years were very valuable to practice on stage.

From l.r:: Erhan,Özgür,Onur (Taksim, 2003)

Following year, Derya Ölçener (vocals) joined the band. In 1996, the name was changed to “After Hours”, taken from a Gary Moore album. Both acoustic and electric concerts followed in the next years until 1998.

Parallel to music, he started to work as HVAC service engineer in 1999 at company ISISAN.

Service office (2000)
Erhan's wedding party (2000)- l.r. Özgür,Derya,Onur,Sencar
Cool bar - Istanbul (2002)

In 2002, he bought an old 1977 Fender Stratocaster by the luthier Ekrem Özkarpat and put a band named “Red House Trio” together with Yalın Halefoğlu (drums) & Taha Rıza Özmen (bass). For two years, they played blues covers (especially Hendrix and SRV) in different locations of Istanbul city. 

In 2004, he joined Gökalp Baykal Band. They have recorded a double album “Yağmuru Beklerken – Waiting the rain” in the summer of 2005 together. After having recorded this album, he moved to Stuttgart-Germany.

Italian Culture Center, Istanbul (2005)
With Ol' Smugglers Blues Band at Heubacher Spätschicht (2019)
Ayabakan Band at Plochinger Musiknacht (2008)

In 2006, he joined “Ol’ Smugglers Blues Band” from Göppingen. They became very good friends and still play together nice blues and rock covers in the style of Gary Moore.

At the same year, he set up “Ayabakan Band” with Rudi Barsacq (Bass) and Markus Ehrmann (Drums). In 2009, they went different ways due personal reasons.

In 2011, another band was put together with Michael Sistig (Bass) and Erich Kurz (Drums). Later Blue C.Ray (Harp) joined the band.