Erol Arıkan was born in Gölbaşı, Ankara. He graduated from TCDD Vocational High School at 1959 and started working at the General Directorate of Turkish State Railways.
While he was working at TCDD, he also graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of the DMMA in 1983. Arıkan continued his work as an engineer at the Ankara Locomotive Maintenance Workshop.
Erol Arıkan has served in various positions at the General Directorate of Turkish State Railways (TCDD). Since the date of 24 June 2016, TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş. He was the Chairman of the Department of Passenger Transportation.
TCDD Transportation Inc. Mr. Arıkan was appointed as an Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors. He is married and has two children.