Turkish Superstitions & Beliefs!

All cultures in the world have their own stories for the paranormal, Turkey is certainly no exception! The more we deny its existence the more we seem to know about it.

Fortune Tellers
Gypsies:
They will usually find you at a park with a bag of beans called ‘Bakla’. As she tosses the beans, she tells you of your future for love and happiness. As your anticipation rises it is suddenly cut short with a comment that says ‘Give me more Money and Ill tell you the rest’ something like a paranormal peep show.

Water Fortune tellers:
They are called the ‘Mixed people’ because they claim to have mixed with the unseen Jeanie’s that travel through time to visit the future. They stare in a bowl of plain water and see visions of the future.
Turkish coffee Fortune Tellers: This can even be your next door neighbor, or a Professional fortune teller that claims to have the abilities of a medium. The quality of the reading depends on the person that is doing it, it can be surprising.

Yıldızname/Star calculations:
This is astrology in its ancient form. Calculations of birth dates and family names require skill and former training and are usually done by a specialized Hoca. This is the rarest form of fortune telling that exists today, usually performed in the south of Turkey at cities such as Adana and Mersin by Arab descendants. It will give you information on compatibility, black magic influences, future occurrences and true intentions of the people in your life. It is believed that everybody has a star that represents them in the universe and such cosmic influences are calculated.

Tarot:
This is not a traditional form of Turkish fortune telling and has been adopted for the last 10 years.

Card Readings:
Just a regular deck of cards and a woman or man that is a good judge of character. I have heard of good readings in the past.

Sleep & Dreams
Dream Interpretations: This is a very common practice of the Turkish society. Dreams are considered to be short messages for future events and taken very seriously. You will find books on dreams and its interpretations. Dreams are usually explained to someone that is religious and clean hearted to interpret its meaning.

İstihare Sleep:
Can be preformed by anyone that has a pure soul. It is basically a sleep that is done with special prayers to ask for guidance on a particular issue. The result is interpreted simply as ‘good outcome or bad outcome’. It is an Islamic ritual that is useful when in doubt on serious issues like marriage, relocating, professional decisions etc. It can be done by somebody else for you. This is commonly preformed by practicing Muslims although it is not required to be religious.
Entities

Cin:
Pronounced ‘Gin’ in Turkish. They are considered to be an existing life form on earth that we can not see or relate to. They are made of fire and exist amongst us with families and social structures. They can be good or bad intentioned although any relation with them is considered to be harmful because of their energy level. They relate to some people that are on the same frequency, these people claim to receive information from them about the unknown. Many people claim to have their own group of Cin’s and profit from this claim. All cultures have their own name for them such as Elf, Poltergeist, and Jeanie’s. They are believed to exist by many and are prohibited to be mentioned on national TV. by law and are called creatures made of three letters. This is the most feared subject amongst common folk and they take them seriously. Some claim to live with them and even marry them.

Peri (fairies):
Much like in the west, they are believed to live around water sources and show themselves to us as beautiful woman. Considered to be harmless but can be harmful if they wanted to be.

Ghosts:
Unlike the West you will rarely find stories of ghosts and haunted houses in the Turkish society. Stories of Cins have taken their places.

Spirits:
You will rarely find a Turk that has not tried to call spirits during their teenage years. Just like a Wee gee board letters are written and placed on a table surrounded by friends that put their fingers on a Fincan (Turkish coffee cup). After some basic prayers are recited quietly, the cup will move to the letters to answer questions. If this is true and no one was pushing, Ataturk’s spirit must be very busy answering questions. This is usually done on rainy days by at least four adolescents with goose bumps that match their pimples.

Hızır Aleyislam:
This is the name of the’ Profit of Despair’ that will come to your help during times of despair. Some even claim that he is an angel. It is said that he can show himself as a person in need or ask for help to test your worthiness. He has a holiday ‘Hıdırelles’ when both Hızır and Profit İlyas(protector of those at sea) comes and visits the earth to find those in need. People will write letters or make statues out of mud for what they want and need. These are placed under rose trees with prayers they remain there till dawn for him to see. Hıdırelles is also considered the celebration of spring; Christians celebrate the same holiday only known as Saint George or Aya Yorgi. Hıdırelles is usually celebrated on the 6th of May. Should definitely be tried!

Nazar – Envious Energy:
It is probably the most common superstition this country shares regardless of age or background. Basically Nazar means harmful vibes that is shed from an envious or jealous person on to another willingly or unwillingly. Nazar is believed to be the cause of many bad things ranging from the feelings of fatigue, accidents or even to sudden death. The famous evil eye is meant to absorb these negative vibes and is made of glass so that it breaks when too much is absorbed. If your evil eye is broken this is considered an omen of nazar. Even the loving eyes of a mother can give out Nazar because of the flow of strong admirable love of her child. There are many ways to deal with Nazar and the evil eye is the most common but there are others as well;

Tütsü: Incense.
A special mixture of herbs sold as Nazar Tütsüsü is put in a pot and burned on a stove until it begins to fumigate. The pot then is passed above family members and all rooms of the home with prayers against Nazar. The same process can be is done with regular salt. Sneak Peview of next Month: The Saints of İstanbul!

Gulyabani: In old folk wisdom it’s a kind of creature which its body coated by fur and feet look reverse. It appears suddenly in the nights on your road. In Anatolian belief it was a monster that has a beard and eats people.

Source: http://forum.kusadasi.biz/threads/turkish-superstitions-and-beliefs.17516/

About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).