Regional Significance of the Turkish Eyes
While the eye is considered to be the windows to the soul, many ancient cultures around the world revere it as a powerful organ that can ward of evil. In Turkey, the “evil eye” or Nazar as it is known is a harbinger of bad luck, ill health and misfortune. In order to ward off evil, people in Turkey can be seen wearing glass talismans strung on beads, which look like large eyes. Just like the ancient Asian cultures of Hindu and Buddhist societies, the Turks believe that by wearing the amulet, all negative energy and emotions directed towards the wearer including envy, jealousy and resentment would be absorbed and the amulet would break. They are known as Nazar Boncuk in Turkey and can be commonly seen hanging above the rear view mirrors of cars and doorways across the country. Men, women and children wear them as protective amulets, bracelets and chains to ward of negative gazes directed towards them. Today charms, talismans and other decorations featuring the Nazar Boncuk have become synonymous with Turkey and are collected by tourists to the country. The acrylic fridge magnet captures the enigmatic charm as it sways in the breeze and is a must have souvenir item.
The Evil Eye in History
The concept of the Evil Eye is probably as old as history itself. It has been referenced numerous times by legendary Greek poets and philosophers including the great Plato, Theocritus and Hesiod in the BC era. It was believed that Socrates actually possessed the evil eye, which allowed him to hypnotize his followers.