The Nazar Talisman
You see them everywhere in Turkey: hanging above doors, in cars, pinned onto babies' clothes, included in jewellery, plastered into walls, in peoples pockets. The reason for this is because Turks believe that this eye-looking talisman (Nazar bonjugu) keeps the evil eye away.
The history of the Nazar talisman
These talismans date back to Egyptian times. Even though they didn't look like the ones now, Egyptian people use to paint and carve the eye of Osiris and Horus on the walls to protect them from evil. That could be a reason why today we still use an eye looking talisman.
Another fact which is known by the Turkish people is that our eyes are the first thing that can cause Nazar ( bad luck ). That is why to be protected from the evil eyes, another eye must stare at them to have a reflective ability. This belief dates back from the period when shamanism was a religion in the Turkish borders.
Eye-looking talismans have two different colours which the eye is blue and yellow. The most common one is the blue one. For a talisman to be effective, they must be handcrafted and forged by hand to make it more unique. The ones that are made in factories are believed to have no reflective abilities and should only be used for decoration.
Well, whether that's true or not, these 'blue eyes' always make a great souvenir! I try to take a special one from every place in Turkey we visit! However, it is said that the Nazar talisman does its work best if it was given as a present.