If you travel to North Cyprus & Turkey you’re likely to see a lot of these:
The circular blue amulets are known as ‘Evil Eyes’, and because of this can be pretty disconcerting to stare at. Don’t be discouraged though, the Nazar (as they are officially known) is actually a symbol of protection. In many Mediterranean cultures the name of this object refers to the belief that an evil look from someone can cause harm to a person’s soul or leave them with bad luck. The amulet is supposed to be a barrier to this, reflecting any negative auras back onto the person that gives them.
So, what brought about this seemingly strange superstition?
Well, one idea is that it all goes back to a very stubborn rock. Belief has it that there was once a massive rock placed rather inconveniently by the sea that not even
dynamite or a herd of determined muscled men could move. Luckily there was one man that lived near by who carried one of the evil eyes. The town people convinced him to come down and take a look and upon exclaiming, “What a big rock!” the rock suddenly cracked in half and that was that.
Nowadays the Cypriots use these for many things, although they are most prominently sold as souvenirs and jewellery. I’m not sure you’ll end up breaking rocks with one but the notion of spiritual power within these little trinkets still holds a very powerful significance to this day. They make a lovely gift for friends and family back home, as well as a memento to keep for yourself from North Cyprus and Turkey (and you might need it with all those jealous glances you’ll be getting post holiday!)
You may have noticed that Direct Traveller has this gem incorporated into their logo and this was no coincidence as it is considered to protect the Direct Traveller and those travelling with us.