Nazar beads, or evil-eye beads, are traditional Anatolian beads used to ward off evil, similar to evil-eye traditions all over the world. The word 'nazar' is derived from the Arabic word for 'sight,' and is sometimes also referred to in Turkey as a 'Blue bead' or 'mavi boncuk.' Nazar beads do actually carry some meaning in Turkey. 'Nazar' is considered bad luck, or 'evil,' and the bead helps ward off this evil according to many superstitions. If a person is complimented a lot, or is particularly attractive, or has a run of good luck, then it's believed that a nazar bead can help ward off the inevitable bad luck to follow. But obviously in the modern era, they serve the equally important purpose of looking super cool and being some of the best souvenirs you'll pick up on your trip to Turkey. Gifts for newborn babies Newborns are especially cute and receive an inordinate number of compliments, making them prime targets for 'nazar.'