The Story of Murat Naci

Murat Naci Çoklu was born in Bakirkoy, Istanbul on August 3, 1974. He enrolled in Kanarya Elementary School in 1980. However, Murat Naci decided to quit formal education in 1986 when he was in the first grade of middle school due to familial financial distress. Despite his parents’ opposition, he insisted on his decision. Consequently, Murat Naci Çoklu started the school of hard knocks at a young age.

It was time to take control of his life. His first job was a helper position in the teahouse of the Balkan Business Mall in Cağaloğlu. After spending short spells working as a shoeshiner (bootblack), busboy, and street simit (Turkish bagel) vendor, he was employed as a sales clerk in Yeşildirek (the center for textile and fabric wholesalers in Istanbul) for seven years. He also drove a yellow cab in Istanbul’s chaotic traffic while meeting his responsibilities. In 1992, he was introduced to cue sports when his friends took him to Centilmen Billiards in Kanarya. Murat joined the Army in 1995 for the mandatory military service. After the boot camp in Erzincan, he was transferred to Lüleburgaz to complete the rest of his service.

After returning home from conscription, he drove a minibus (shared shuttle) in the Topkapı-Avcılar line for two years. Having won several local tournaments in Istanbul in the mid-1990s, Murat Naci Çoklu was ready for national competition. In his first official tournament, 1998 Turkish Championship in Trabzon, he lost against Semih Saygıner 2-0 in the group stage. He won his first official title in 1999 Turkish Billiards Championship Cup by defeating Süha Erdinç 3-1 in the final game. As his success in national tournaments continued, Murat now was a top player and frequent member of the Turkish National Team.

Murat Naci ÇOKLU

Murat Naci emerged as an international elite 3-cushion player in 2004. First, he became the European Champion in Fethiye, Turkey. This victory convinced him to pursue his passion for 3-cushion billiards at the professional level. In addition to winning or finishing in the top flight of numerous national and international tournaments both at the individual and team levels, Murat Naci Coklu took home two UMB World Cups (Istanbul, 2015 and La Baule 2016).