Evil Eye

If you’ve been to Turkey you’ll have seen the symbols consisting of blue and yellow concentric circles, and if you haven’t you might have seen one on someone’s keyring or in a picture and wondered what it is. In Turkish they are called ‘Nazar’ which translates as ‘evil eye’ and they are charms to protect against curses cast by malevolent stares.

Evil eye on house number plateEvil eye picture on the number plate of our apartment building

Many houses and shops have one somewhere obvious and we’ve seen them on cars, boats, jewellery and accessories too.

Evil eyesHouses and businesses protected by the evil eye (clockwise from top left): over a house door; on our local simit stand; embedded in the wall over an apartment block entrance; even gold shops need protection

Evil eye on truckEvil eye painted on the back of a truck

A pretty hefty percentage of the average Turkish souvenir shop is taken up with evil eyes too.

Souvenir shopSouvenir shop display

HamsaThey are sometimes doubled up with the open right hand symbol, another protective motif called Hamsa

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