binding the devil

The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life, then lived in Australia for some time. He talks about a family tradition in this collection. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Any tradition that is special to your family?”

B: “I remember that when I was a kid, every time my dad lost something he would always call my grandmother. In order to find the lost items, she would do something, which she called as; “binding the devil”. How this practice worked is very interesting. My grandmother would bind her scarf, while singing some songs in order to find the lost items. And every single time my dad was able to find the lost items he lost.”

A: “Can you tell me more about this?”

B: “She gets a scarf, which is a normal scarf, nothing special about it. She would bind the scarf few times. And while she was doing this, she would sing. She sings religious songs, which are called, “Ilahi”. It is kind of like praying.”

A: “Do you believe in this practice?”

B: “When I lost my stuff, I remember doing it and finding my lost items but I don’t believe hundred percent in it. But it is interesting because, one time, before “binding the devil”, my dad was searching for his passport everywhere and could not find it, but as soons, as the devil was bound, he was able to find it. 99% of the time it was successful. When I witnessed this, I thought about how it can work, because it can not be explained with science.”

A: “Do Turkish people usually have this kind of superficial beliefs?”

B: “Most of the older people, especially older women, have this beliefs or traditions. I think it comes from puberty since when you do not have money, you seek comfort from leaving some problems to unexplainable things.”