Erkin Koray has been in the Turkish rock music scene since the early 1960s. By the late 1960s, he was already a major figure in Turkish psychedelic music (also called as Anatolian Rock), beginning with his first psychedelic single "Anma Arkadaş" in 1967. In the early 1970s, he formed the group Ter with the former members of Grup Bunalım (also known as Bunalımlar). Although they only recorded one single before breaking up, "Hor Görme Garibi" (a cover of the major arabesque hit by Orhan Gencebay) was a smash hit, furthering Koray's career.
In 1974, Erkin Koray released what is probably his best-known and best-selling single, Şaşkın. Set to a traditional Egyptian tune, the single proved Koray to be an ingenious musician and arranger.
Other major hits by Koray are Fesuphanallah, Istemem, Sevince, Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki , Estarabim, Arap Saçı, Yalnızlar Rıhtımı, Akrebin Gözleri and Çöpçüler.
Erkin Koray and Orhan Gencebay are the inventors of the electonic version of bağlama (a Turkish traditional musical instrument).