6 Unique Characteristics of ‘Kem Goz’ or the Turkish Evil Eye

With the Turkish Evil Eye omnipresent in modern-day Turkish culture, many may believe that the Evil Eye originated in Turkey.

The Turkish Evil Eye however is a distinctively Turkish interpretation in the ancient belief in the Evil Eye, which also has other unique interpretations including Greek Evil Eye or Mati, Italian Evil Eye or Malocchio, Spanish Evil Eye or Mal De Ojo, and Indian Evil Eye or Nazar.

Read More to Discover the 6 Most Unique Characteristics of ‘Kem Goz’ or the Turkish Evil Eye.

1. What is the Turkish Evil Eye?

‘Kem Goz’ or ‘Evil Eye’ in Turkish, is an ancient belief in the lands now known as Turkey, that others can cast an ‘evil eye’ of jealousy, envy, or malice on a person or a personal object, which brings them harm or misfortune.

Many believe that ‘Kem Goz’ or the Turkish Evil Eye can also be given accidentally in the form of exaggerated compliments and over admiration.

Often the symptoms, which include inexplicable bad health or ill luck, set in soon after the evil eye is received, with women and young children being most susceptible.

2. Where did the Turkish Evil eye come from?

The belief in the malefic ‘Evil Eye’ goes back to ancient Egypt in 3000 BC.

From Egypt it is said to have traveled to ancient Mesopotamia in 1500 BC, to ancient Greece in 700 BC, and then to ancient Rome in 500 BC.

It is said that the belief in the Evil Eye was first introduced to the lands now known as Turkey with the conquests of Alexander the Great in 330 BC.

In subsequent millennia, the belief remained alive with the people in the region, while the land changed hands from the Greeks to the Romans, before forming into the erstwhile Byzantine Empire.

In the image alongside, an Evil Eye pendant from Byzantine period can be seen with the 'evil eye' being attacked by a lion, snake, scorpion, stork, and spears.

Later when the Turks, who were at that time nomads, began conquering the lands of the Byzantine in 1500 AD. They incorporated the existing belief in the evil eye into their culture as the distinctively Turkish Evil Eye or ‘Kem Goz’.

3. What is a Nazar Boncuk?

In Arabic, ‘Nazar’ means ‘Look’ and ‘Boncuk’ means ‘Pearl’. So ‘Nazar Boncuk’ literally translates to “Pearl of the Look”.

To deflect the malicious gaze of an evil eye, the people of Turkey created the ‘Nazar Boncuk’ charm, also known as the Turkish Evil eye.

Similar to that of an Evil Eye amulet or talisman, the purpose of a ‘Nazar Boncuk’ is to deflect or absorb the malefic effects of the evil eye, thereby keeping the wearer protected.

From adorning newborn babies, expecting mothers, and young brides, to being hung inside homes, shops, and cars, the ‘Nazar Boncuk’ is omnipresent in present-day Turkey.

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A most popular souvenir for tourists visiting Turkey, in the Turkish heartland of Cappadocia, hundreds of bright blue ‘Nazar Boncuk’ beads can even be seen hanging from trees.

The practice of making ‘Nazar Boncuk’ or the Turkish Evil Eye is now considered a traditional occupation in western Turkey. With the knowledge of making these protective blue beads being a closely guarded secret, passed on through the generations from masters to their most favored apprentices.

It is said that for a ‘Nazar Boncuk’ or Turkish Evil Eye to be most effective, it should be bought by a person with pure intentions for others, and preferably not for themselves.

4. Why is the ‘Nazar Boncuk’ or Turkish Evil Eye blue?

A ‘Nazar Boncuk’ or Turkish Evil Eye is typically made of blue glass, in a specific type of traditional oven, with the standardized coloring order of blue, white, yellow, and black, from the outside to the inside.

The color blue, which is the dominant color, is often broken up into both dark and light blue. Dark blue being the color of protection that radiates positive energy and symbolizes good karma, and light blue is associated with the god in the sky and the color of the truth.

Blue is also the color of water, considered an immensely precious resource in the extremely dry and arid regions of central Turkey, therefore also symbolizing growth and prosperity in Turkish culture.

Before the Turks, the Byzantines also considered the color blue to be royal and sacred. Believed to be the color of heaven and water, symbolizing the infinite, the divine, the spiritual, and also evoking calm, peace, and abundance.

5. Why is there a Hand with the Turkish Evil Eye?

The Turkish Evil Eye can often be found housed within the palm of a downward or upward facing hand.

This is known as the Hamsa, also known as Khamsa, the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Miriam, the Hand of the Goddess, and Hamesh in different cultures.

It's believed that the Turks, along with the ancient symbol of the Evil Eye, also absorbed the ancient symbol of Hamsa into their culture, thereby creating a unique amalgamation of the two.

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A downward-facing Hamsa is an ancient symbol of good health, good luck, and good fortune, symboling the welcoming of joy and abundance in our lives.

So when a Turkish Evil Eye is housed within a downward-facing Hamsa Hand, it symbolizes both protection from the malefic evil eye, as well as an invitation to all the good things into our life.

An upward-facing Hamsa however is also a symbol of protection. Symbolizing the hand blocking any negative energies from entering our lives, with the fingers sometimes spread apart to also repel evil.

A Turkish Evil Eye housed within the palm of an upward-facing Hamsa is a symbol of double protection against the malefic evil eye and harm from others. An upward-facing Hamsa also helps control the wearer’s own negative emotions including fear, greed, hatred, and insecurities.

6. What happens if a ‘Nazar Boncuk’ breaks?

A ‘Nazar Boncuk’ is meant to deflect or absorb the malefic effects of the Evil Eye, thereby keeping the wearer safe and protected from harm and misfortune.

Over time, a ‘Nazar Boncuk’ of Turkish Evil Eye charm is expected to crack or break. This is not a bad omen but in fact a good one.

It symbolizes that the ‘Nazar Boncuk’ was doing its duty to keep the wearer protected, absorbing the harm or misfortune into itself instead.

If your ‘Nazar Boncuk’ of Turkish Evil Eye charm breaks, all that needs to be done is for the broken ‘Nazar Boncuk’ to be replaced with a new Turkish Evil Eye charm, to ensure continued protection from the malefic evil eye.

Stay Protected from the Turkish Evil Eye 🧿



Turkish Evil Eye Wall Hangings with Large Suncatcher Crystals ✨

These dazzling Evil Eye wall hangings reflect light in rainbow colors when placed in sunlight or under a strong indoor light!

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