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Bu Anadolu var ya bu Anadolu
Bu misli menendi görülmemis cömert ana
Bu her yani meme, bu her yani dudak, bu her yani gül
Bu zirnik almadan veren, habire veren
yedi gül...

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboglu

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Traditional Turkish headdresses can still be found worn by women in the remoter parts of Anatolia. They are made in accordance with various local customs and traditions and form an indispensable part of a tradition Turkish woman's dress from the cradle to the grave.





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Headdresses from Kozak Highland





The type of headdresses varies with the woman's age and status. There are distinctive headdresses for infants, young girls, brides, newly married women, mothers with children, women of forty and over, women whose sons have gone to the military service, grandmothers, etc, while each type of decoration also has a definite significance.



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Binding The Head

In many villages today we still fond the ceremony of binding the head performed on the first day of the young bride's womanhood in the presence of invited female guests. In some regions the bridegroom's family presents the bride with a headdress decorated with gold coins. This becomes the bride's personal property and forms a finacial support for the new family, as it can be changed into money in time of need. It also serves as an indication of the woman's financial status. The silver ornaments on the headdress are in the nature of a talisman against evil and misfortune, and serve to preserve the wearer's health and strength.

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Ankara Headdress

This form of headdress can be found in various different regions. The front part is about an inch in height with a row of gold coins, while the top is embroideried in yellow thread on a black ground, the motif being peculiar to the Ankara region.

Danglers ornamented with coins hang down on both sides while at the back there are black silk hair bands descending as far as the waist and covering the whole of the woman's back. The ends of these hair bands are decorated with coral, silver thread or white beads.

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The headdress is sorrunded by crimson pinked crepe, while the top is covered with a fine yellow material embroideried with gilt threads.

The headdress illustrated here was made sometime during last hundres years, and similar headdresses can be seen in all the various Oguz tribes. The basic material employed is stiffened broadcloth or a ready-made fez, the top of the headdress being strengthened with cardboard or leather.


Bodrum Headdress

This is a small headdress resembling a skullcap. The basic material consists of red broadcloth or a fez. The crown is made of spun silver threads with flower motifs.

The headdress is surrounded by muslin printed in bright carmine, with silver sequins hanging down at the sides.

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Various fresh folwers are inserted into upper edge of the muslin. Bands hang down from the top of the headdress as far as the waist, and are made from the same type of silver wire as that used for plaiting the hair.

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Keles Girls' Headdress

These headdresses are rather high and are knitted from wool on a single pin. Virgin wool is often employed.

The crown is worked in rows of colored sequins and is strentghtened with cardboard. Muslin with red print designs is wrapped around the headdress, while the front of the headdress is made up of three parts decorated with colored sequins and with a kilim type decoration. On each side of the head there are balls of wool with white sequins and dried carnations, the latter serving as a kind of perfume . Older women wears no carnations, thus giving rise to the saying Our carnation days are past.

Inside the headdress there is another headdress of white cloth resembling a skullcap. This has sequins woven into it and is surrounded by decoration about an inch thick. This inner headdress can be frequently washed.

The young girl wears this rather showy headdress without binding her hair, which hangs in plaits.

Keles Newly Married Bride's Headdress

This is a little higher than the previous headdress and is made of red broadclothor a fez. The crown is worked in sequins with trangular motifs. The crown is strengthened with cardboard and red triangular kerchief is wound around the head in the form of a band, from the end of which hangs spangled pinking. The danglers hanging from the edges of the crown are decorated with pinks and sequins. The newly married bride binds her hair with the triangular kerchief, to the edges of which are attached pink-kebands wrought with sequins and spangles. These strike against the cheeks as the girl moves and let it be known to everyone that the woman who has bound her head in this way has just married.

Researcher and Writer
"Sanat Dünyamiz"
3. year, 7. volume, May 1976
Yapi Kredi Bankasi Yayinlari
Printed by:Tifdruk Matbaacilik San. AS.

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Turcoman Headdress From the Kozak Summer Pastures

The inner cap is made of silk and cotton brocade or striped cloth. The part over the forehead is ornamented
with rows of gold coins, with 26 coins in each row. The number of rows varies with the financial status of the
family, some headdresses having as many as four rows, while a Mahmudiye gold coin is placed between the
eyebrows. A triangular kerchief of white hand-woven cotton is wrapped around the inner cap, and the whole
adorned with gashed cloth in red or blue, ornamented with spangles and blue sequins. Over silver ornaments
hang down over the newly married bride's cheeks and are said to protect her from lightning.

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Kazdagi Mountain Headdresses

The turning point comes with marriage. Until that time a girl or young woman is relatively unfettered and can
do as she pleases, but from the wedding day forward she must cast herself in the traditional mold, especially
when it comes to the manner of her headdress.

The bride and the groom must each submit to a ritual in the preparing of their headdress. Nor can it be just
anyone who takes part in this ritual. Social status and situation are important, and a woman who marries after
such a ritual can only go out wearing a certain type of headdress, as in other societies she might wear a ring.
In fact, in many parts of Turkiye the expression to swathe the head means to get married.


A married woman's Linen band and Ilmecer

A length of white cotton material is wound over this. Called a linen band, it goes under the chin to completely swathe the head. Only married women use this linen band, never single girls or the merely engaged, so that a glance will tell one if a woman of the clan falls into one of these categories.Engaged girls certainly wear ornate headpieces, but with them this linen band is absent.

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Headdress of an engaged girl

If a girl is single and unbetrothed, she goes bareheaded.



Married women, then, must wear this linen band, to the ends of which may be attached ornamental cloths that hang down the back. And as seen below crepe of various colors is wrapped over the linen band. In many villages it is felt that these colors represent the rainbow. At any rate, their number and use will depend a good deal on the feel for color of the woman who wears them.

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Married woman headdress


The next step is to pin on an embroideried scarf with silver pendants. Called an ilmec, this is attached near the temples and passed under the chin. It serves to keep everything in place, but also as an indication of wealth. Finally, embroideried and sequined crepe is attached in front and behind to complete the picture.

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Married woman headdress
seen from the rear


"Turkoman Headdresses From the Kozak Summer Pastures" and Colored Photos from IMAGE OF TURKEY, by TUTAV