Turkish Hat

A Turkish hat or cap is a casual hat that is generally worn by men in Turkey. It is also known as a haci takkesi or pilgrim's cap. In the main it is worn for religious reasons by older men and is common in more rural areas of the country. This type of hat is usually made out of a soft cotton fleece or a wool blend and will traditionally have a zigzag pattern as well as a pom-pom on the top of the hat. However some of these caps can be plain. It is traditionally worn so that the seam faces the person’s ear and is deemed improper to have the seam at the back of the head. Within the United States this hat is worn by Muslims of all ethnicities and can be known as a Turki Turkish kufi or Islamic knit cap. Within parts of West Africa the cap is worn by many different religious groups including Christians and Muslims.


The Turkish hat known as the fez was first worn in 1826 by men of the the Ottoman Empire. Essentially this was part of a number of reforms to modernise the country created by Sultan Mahmud II. This hat was primarily a representation of Ottoman modernity and soon became part of the cultural identity. Wearing a fez was legally banned in Turkey in 1925 as part of yet more modernizing reforms. As to how this hat got its name there has been much debate with some believing it originated in Byzantine Greece. The Turkish word fes is thought to perhaps be a reference to the city of Fez in Morocco. However it is also possible that it comes from the name of the crimson berry used to dye the felt the colour associated with this headwear. The fez has not always looked as it is now known as it was originally a brimless bonnet of red, white, or black with a woven turban.


In the 1840’s the Turkish army used to wear as red fez with a blue tassel until in 1910 a khaki uniform and peak less sun helmet became the standard clothing. The only real exceptions to this were the cavalry and some artillery units. These days you can buy a traditional Turkish hat from many retailers online or you should be able to find somewhere that sells them the next time you are visiting Turkey.