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While doing the dishes a glass just slipped out of my flat mate’s hand and broke into pieces. This is the second time in two days that this has happened. “There must be some nazar on me.”, she said.

A nazar can be described as a negative energy caused by the evil eye, which is normally related to some other person’s jealousy or bad thoughts towards you.

In order to prevent or block the evil eye, many people wear eye shaped amulets (called nazar boncuğu). Here in Turkey you can find them in every household. They may be hung on the front door to keep all bad energies outside the house or you may see them on streets or incorporated into jewelry or clothing. They have also become popular souvenirs from the region.


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You may also find these kinds of amulets in other Middle Eastern countries or in Greece.

In Latin America the nazar is known as mal de ojo and new born children are particularly vulnerable to it. It is cured with procedures involving chicken legs. At least that is what I have heart. When I visited Colombia last year, I was surprised to see many people wearing nazar boncuğu bracelets in all sorts of colors. Most people wore them because it was a trend, ignoring the original meaning. They were surprised when I told them they were very popular in Turkey as well and that they were supposed to protect you from the evil eye.

My flat mate explained to me that the glass breaking was actually a good thing since it meant that the negative energy had been transferred from her to the glass instead and has thus left her. This reminds me of the German saying: Scherben bringen Glück. (Broken glass is lucky.)

Let’s hope this holds true.


From → Adventures, Turkey

  1. People with fair colored eyes (blue, green, hazel) can also cause nazar by admiring something, even with the best of intentions! My husband and I “give each other nazar” all the time on accident haha.

    Religiously you can prevent the religious version of nazar by saying mashallah, or “God wills it”.

    I love nazar boncuk 🙂

    • True, nazar can be just about anywhere but it’s good to know there are ways to get rid of it. The famous nazar boncuk is just one of them.

  2. I enjoy the connection between cultures.

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