Shirts with Talisman


One of the interesting topics which the periodical elaborates is about “Shirts with Talisman “. Orhan Saik Gokyay tells the following related to the “Shirts with Talisman “Shirts with Talisman consist of shirts armored with prayers, spell or some prayers, verses of the Quran, talisman believed to protect people against illness, hostilities and to heal patients.

Their history backs to very old times. As far as we know, we see this type of a shirt first in the Yusuf (Joseph) Sura of the Quran. There is a shirt given by the Prophet Joseph when he was the saint of Egypt to his brother so that he sends it to his father Prophet Jacob. When Jacob touches his face to this shirt, his eyes blinded because of crying for his son missing begin to see. According to some saying, this is a very fine shirt brought by Gabriel from the heaven upon the order of God and which covered the Prophet Abraham when he was thrown to the fire by Nimrod.

This shirt was transferred from Abraham to his sons and grandchildren: and the Prophet Jacob put it secretely in an amulet and hang to the neck of his son Joseph. When the jealous brothers of Joseph threw him into the well. Jacob took the shirt out of the amulet and clothed him and said that whenever the smell of the Fly breeze touches one who is in trouble heals him. For that reason, this shirt is a magic souvenir. The folk tales too elaborate the notion of Shirts with Talisman.

These shirts are believed to be bullet-proof, resisting to the sword cuts, bringing happiness and making invisible those who wear them. It`s obvious that this kind of shirts have a widespread tradition among people. Unfortunately, we don`t have enough information about these shirts. However when many shirts collected in the division of Clothes` in Topkapi Palace are examined, they provide informations to us in many aspects.

Shirts in Topkapi Palace

Gokyay tells as follows how the Shirts with Talisman in the Topkapi Palace Museum are discovered and preserved: “When Mr. Hayrullah Ors who is a cultivated friend of mine was the director of the Topkapi Palace Museum, he discovered many things as well as these shirts neglected until that time.

He noticed that these shirts arc almost turning moldy in the department of Arsenal Treasury where actually the Division of Clocks` is found: he took them out and displayed them in the current `Division of Clothes` equipped with humidity sensors imported from Swiss. (…) We owe him the conservation of these shirts left in a closed place whose windows had been covered during the reign of Sultan Hamid II. Mr. Ors examined these shirts covered with prayers, verses of the Quran, and talisman and presented them to us.

The sorcery used by the human being since centuries assumed an artistic dimension after a certain time with the shirts, palms and statuettes with talisman.

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