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Evil eye bracelets can be found on a variety of Turkish websites. If you’ve ever been to Turkey, you’ll be aware of the evil eye’s unique place in Turkish culture.
It can be found almost anywhere – at the entrances to homes and restaurants, engraved in jewelry and décor, in mosques and shopping malls wherever you go.
What does it represent?
Every country has its own set of superstitions, some of which date back thousands of years. The evil eye, or “Nazar,” is widely held in many societies (including Pakistan). Anyone on the receiving end of a look can suffer pain, injury, or bad luck. People who are envious or believe that a person does not deserve the good fortune that has been bestowed upon them subconsciously cast the evil eye.
Types of evil eye in Turkey
The Turkish believe that there are three types of evil eyes:
- The first is the unconscious evil eye, which causes harm unintentionally.
- The second type of evil eye causes damage with intent and deliberation,
- while the third and most potent type of evil eye is the invisible eye.
People have created a variety of talismans throughout history to ward off bad luck or Nazar. The most common European example is a rabbit’s foot, and in Turkey, the Nazar Boncuu is widely displayed in homes, shops, and businesses.
The Nazar Boncuu is no longer just a Turkish tradition. It is also the most popular Turkish souvenir. Small key rings, necklaces, and large ceramic eyes to hang in the home are available wherever tourism exists. Tourists go crazy for them.
The shape of the evil eye
The evil eye is traditionally depicted as a dark blue circle or round sphere with an eye in the centre. Take a walk down any Istanbul street, and you’ll see at least 5 of them.
You’ll lose count of how many times you see it at the grand bazaar. Visit the panoramic viewpoints in Cappadocia, which hang from the trees and provide numerous photo opportunities.
The belief in the ability of desirous eyes to cause harm is widespread in Turkish society, and it even extends to people with coloured eyes.
The Turks believe that people with unusually coloured eyes are wicked, that they do not desire the good of others and thus seek their harm and misery.
They consider people with blue eyes evil, and some speculate that this is why the Nazar is blue.
Today, several Turkish people do not believe in the evil eye-protecting them from evil intentions, but they continue to wear it. It has evolved into more of a fashion statement.
Origin of the evil eye
To comprehend the roots of the evil eye, one must first understand the difference between an amulet and an evil eye.
The ocular amulet is a charm used to ward against the actual evil eye: a curse delivered through a malicious stare, usually one prompted by jealousy, and is often referred to as “the evil eye.”
Though the amulet – also known as a Nazar – has been around for thousands of years in various forms, the curse it protects against is much older and more challenging to identify.
An eye for an eye, as they say
Belief in the evil eye has progressed beyond mere superstition, with several well-known intellectuals attesting to its truth.
Plutarch, a Greek philosopher, proposed a scientific explanation in his Symposiacs, claiming that the human eye could release invisible rays of energy that could kill children or tiny animals in some situations.
Plutarch also asserts that some persons had an even stronger power to fascinate, identifying groups of people to the south of the Black Sea as uncannily adept at inflicting the curse.
Blue-eyed people are considered the most adept at inflicting the curse, which is likely related to the fact that this is the most common eye colour.
Are you oblivious to its significance?
What’s most fascinating about the evil eye isn’t its age, but its use hasn’t changed much over millennia.
We continue to paint the evil eye on the sides of our planes, much as the Egyptians and Etruscans did on the prows of their ships to ensure safe passage.
In Turkey, it’s still customary to give an evil eye charm to newborn babies, mirroring the belief that children are particularly vulnerable to the curse.
Evolving with the modern world’s medium
But one can’t help but question if, as the eye evolves with the modern world’s mediums, its meaning and history will finally fade away.
Some recent interpretations have sparked concerns about cultural appropriation, particularly regarding fashion’s usage of the evil eye in the Hamsa, which is revered in Judaism and Islam.
Used by celebrities
Because the eye’s history is so extensive and intertwines with so many peoples, many modern users have a heritage link to it; the Kim above Kardashian and Gigi Hadid, for example, both come from cultures where the evil eye is a common symbol.
The blue shade of the beads
Early Turkic tribes, according to Yildirim, had a profound attraction to this shade of blue because of its ties to their sky deity, Tengri, and as a result, co-opted the use of cobalt and copper.
Practicing this belief
Bringing an evil eye sign to newborn children is still practiced in Turkey. The blue evil eye beads were widely utilized in the region, with the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, and, probably most famously, the Ottomans all wearing them. Though their use was focused in the Mediterranean and the Levant, blue eye beads spread throughout the world due to trade and empire expansion.
The evil eye is a relic from the dawn of civilization, recalling some of humanity’s most enduring and profound beliefs.
Anyone who knows its history will recognize its significance whether you wear it knowingly or simply as a fashion statement.
In modern Muslim societies, the amulet against the evil eye has a blue appearance because it resembles water, the ultimate cure for diarrhoea and dehydration.
In Turkey, those with blue eyes are thought to have some natural protection against the evil eye. Several people in Turkey informed me that my blue eyes made me lucky.