Born in Istanbul in 1939, Okay Temiz was influenced early by his mother, Naciye, who was classically schooled in music. Playing professionally since 1955, he studied at the Ankara Conservatory and at the Tophane Art Institute to learn to build his own unique instruments.
In 1974, he founded his Oriental Wind Ensemble, widely using Turkish instruments such as ney and gayda, zurna, kaval, ud, saz, and sipsi. For some performances his mother joined the group, and he always featured Turkish musicians in order to help them gain international recognition.
In 1991 and 1992, he released Fis Fis Tziganes, with a group of gypsy musicians from Istanbul, and Green Wave. In 1993, with his Magnetic Band (Ano Kato, 1995), he added South African rhythms to his palette.
Now back in Turkey, Temiz still has a very intense schedule of teaching and performing, often guesting in the most prestigious orchestras or creating his own projects that feature his invented instruments, like the hand-made copper drums, the Magic Pyramid, and Artemiz made with camel and sheep bells.