Opinion | The Evil Eye in Turkish Culture.

Since the dawn of time, mankind has always been afraid of evil and evil spirits. In all parts of the world, it is possible to come across rituals for keeping evil spirits away. The evil eye is believed to cause harm to someone or something. Supernatural harm may come in the form of minor misfortunes, as well as more serious diseases, injuries or even death.

In Turkey, evil spirits come through “Nazar,” a harmful gaze or an evil eye, and the best way to be protected from this “gaze” is to wear an evil eye talisman: A blue bead in the shape of an eye. In Turkey, many people believing in Nazar and wear this evil eye talisman or hang it on their walls to keep bad spirits away.

The evil eye talisman is an important symbol of Turkish culture. It is believed that negative energy and people’s bad thoughts spread through the eyes, and this energy can affect others. Although there are different versions since it became part of popular culture (there is even an emoji for it), usually evil eye talismans are dark blue and either round or eye shaped.

The shape of the modern evil eye amulet dates back to the old Turkish tribes and their encounter with Anatolian art more than 3,000 years ago. Tengri, the god of the Turks before they accepted Islam as their religion, was affiliated with blue; hence, they also used the color blue in their talismans. However, for Turks, the blue bead is not enough of a talisman to protect from the evil eye. The evil eye talisman has to be handmade. Those that are not handmade are usually used as jewelry.

But what’s up with the eye? Why eyes are so important that evil forces might cause your death? Throughout history, people believed that eyes have special powers. They are said to be the gateway to a person’s soul. One can actually understand many things by looking at someone’s’ eyes: Shifty eyes are thought to subtly betray liars, while a steady gaze may be endearing or menacing depending on the circumstances. Eye contact can create an intensely personal connection as well.

The first references to the evil eye are discovered in Mesopotamia (Iraq), but believe in the evil eye can also be seen among the ancient Greeks, Romans and Turkic tribes in Central Asia. Today, it is a common tradition even if its name changes; the evil eye causes people from seven to 70 to shiver regardless of their race or religion.

It is a mystery whether an evil eye amulet or any other talisman or ritual can keep us out of harm’s way, but it is always better to be cautious. There is no harm in seeking out jewelry that features an evil eye talisman.

Credits to: dailysabah

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