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A nazar (Turkish: nazar boncuğu Old Turkic: gökçe munçuk) is an eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye ("evil eye", from nazar and "amulet" from boncuğu). The word "nazar" is derived from the Arabic نظر, "sight" or "seeing". In Turkish, it is called Munçuk. In Central Asia, during the ages of Tengrism, people held similar superstitions like horseshoes, garlic, wolf's tooth, dried thorn, lead, stones; but the crystal blue eye has always been the most popular one.
It is a common sight in Turkey, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Armenia, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Azerbaijan, where the nazar is often hung in homes, offices, cars, children's clothing, or incorporated in jewellery and ornaments.
A typical nazar is made of handmade glass featuring concentric circles or teardrop shapes in dark blue, white, light blue and black, occasionally with a yellow/gold edge.
The nazar image was used as a symbol on the tailfins of aeroplanes belonging to the private Turkish airline Fly Air. It is used in the logo for CryEngine 3, a game engine designed by Crytek, a video game company founded by three Turkish brothers (Cevat, Avni and Faruk Yerli). The father of Attila the Hun was called Munçuk. Nazar was used in the logo of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup events.
Nazar hanging at the entrance of a house in Istanbul.
Nazar on a newborn baby's room-door in a hospital in Turkey.
- Langenscheidt's Pocket Turkish Dictionary.Langenscheidt, 1992, p. 638.
- "The Evil Eye and Mountain Karma in Azerbaijan". thebriefnote.com.
- Lonely Planet Middle East.Lonely Planet; 6 edition, 2009, p. 559.
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