His father was an imam. He was trained well in literature, music and foreign languages such as Persian and Arabic. He was a member of Halvetiye order and became a hafız. After travelling to Mecca (modern Saudi Arabia which then was a part of the Ottoman Empire) for pilgrimage, he began attending to fasıls (chorus) of Ottoman classical music in the palace of Mehmet IV (reigned 1648-1687) both as a singer and as a tambur player. Like most other musicians, he was supported by Selim I Giray, the Crimean Khan who was a musician himself and probably his tutor in tambur playing.