I am quite sure, that during your journey in Turkey, you have come across “the evil eye” Nazar – aka the official lucky charm, several times. Because you can find it absolutely everywhere. Perhaps you even wondered, why it is so widespread? And what does the eye symbolize at all ?? At least that was how I felt, the many first time I saw it – quite beautiful and fascinating (and also a bit scary as it hangs there and watching over you). But what is the real meaning of the amulet?
When I phoned my husband to get the precise translation of the word, he didn’t and couldn’t quite help me! Shock … What to do? Of course – you call your mother in law (who couldn’t answer either). Nazar Boncugu or “The Evil Eye” as it often mistakenly are called, is a typical Turkish luck amulet, that protects against digging envious glances. This is the short version. The slightly longer version tells of an amulet – or talisman if you will, that protects against all evil. It is seen as a protection against the bad energy, that comes from the Internal human. A kind of all-seeing, divine eye, that throw back all evil, and protects the ones, who weares it against accidents, bad thoughts and energies and envious glances from other people.
In Turkey, there are three kinds of “evil eye”: a) the unconscious evil eye, damaging things and people without the intention b) the eye, where the intent is to harm others c) the unseen and hidden eye, meaning hidden evil – naturally it is this eye, that scares the most. As you can imagine, there is a lot of culture and superstition in this symbol. For example, you cannot give it to yourself, since it is believed to bring you bad luck. It is therefore a very popular gift to give – especially to people, who are in a kind of “transition”, where there are major changes, as eg. pregnancy, childbirth, when you get married, start a new business, moving etc., etc. . Ex. it is not uncommon, even for the bigger restaurants, to hang an eye over the door to the kitchen, to protect against accidents. The hallway is often a popular place, as the eye so protects the entire house from evil things. Likewise, we also got the finest small eyes on safety pins, when our children were born. The custom is to hook the pin on the childs cloth or hang it on their bed, so they are protected from all evil, that may come their way. The thought is kinda cute, I think …
It is also believed, that when the “eye” is broken, then it has done its job to protect you. So even if the amulet is often called the “evil eye”, it is actually incorrect. It protects you against others’ evil eye.
You can find the Nazar “eye” in any souvenir shop and bazaar with respect for themselves. You can get it on everything from small amulets, porcelain, plastic key rings, wall mount, jewelry and much, much more. If you are taking yourself to buy an eye (or get someone else to it to avoid superstition), so treat yourself to buy one of the good quality amulets, which are made in Turkey. Not one of the cheap imitations, that are being imported from China in tons. You will clearly be able to see and feel a difference in quality. So buy the real thing.