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.