Born in Istanbul in 1940, Emin Fındıkoğlu’s early musical training was on mellophone. He later studied with renowned Turkish jazz critic Cüneyt Sermet and with Arif Mardin. As a scholarship student at Berklee School of Music, Boston (1962-1966) he majored in composition-arranging, studying with, among others, Herb Pomeroy (scoring), Ray Santisi (piano), John LaPorta (improvisation), Bill Maloof (orchestration) and James Progris (counterpoint). He contributed to two arrangements of Mercer Ellington tunes on Berklee LP Vol. 8 (A Tribute to Duke Ellington). Back in Istanbul he performed as a pianist in the quartet of Swedish saxophone giant Lennart Jansson, then started a jazz club, The Rhythm Section.

In the early 1970s he played in dance music groups throughout Europe. His interest in theater led to posts as musical director of the Istanbul production of Hair (1971) and the much-acclaimed Brecht-Cabaret (1979), a collage of texts and songs with music by Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. His passion for writing for wind ensembles led to the formation of groups such as Euphony (1986) and Détente (1999), featuring the leading horn players of the Turkish jazz scene. In 1985 he founded the BİLSAK International Jazz Festival (the first of its kind in Istanbul).

In 1996 he released an album called Dog Songs on Muzikotek label. He taught harmony and songwriting for over ten years at MİAM, where he put together a jazz ensemle which he named Stringsville, with a string quartet as nucleus. In August 2012 he took his current group EF SEPTET to Nisville Jazz Festival (Serbia). In July 2015 the İstanbul Jazz Festival honored him with a Lifetime Achievment Award, an occasion which also marked the debut of his new big band, EF+12.