Yâ Kebikeç!


What if I tell you that there are bookworms that can gnaw at your books. That there is also the king of the bookworms. How would you react? Probably laugh at me, right? Well, it may sound like I’m telling you a 5 years olds’ nightmare, but people used to believe that the biggest bookworm actually existed in the past. And it is called “Kebikeç”.

There are many charms in Turkish traditions that we believe that they protect us from rubbers, sicknesses, fires and so on. So, why not protect our books as well? People used to put a special spell in the first page of their books to keep the little bookworms away. The spell simply means that “O worm, this book doesn’t belong to you (it belongs to your king, Kebikeç), so stay away from it!”. When the little bookworm sees that the book belongs to his superior-Kebikeç-, he gets scared and goes away. There is even a tale telling us that a man put the spell at the end of the book by mistake, and the bookworm started to eat it from the end. Then, the man was left with only the first page of his book.

Why am I telling you about this weird superstition that existed hundreds of years ago in our culture? Certainly, not to scare you! But, I found out my favorite sahaf in Ankara, Sanat Kitabevi, publishes a magazine called Kebikeç. It is a very extensive magazine for researchers in social sciences. It is published every six months and around 600 pages long.


When they decide on the topic for the upcoming magazine, they publish it on their website and inform their readers what they can expect. This is especially good for researchers who need specific sources. The writers of Kebikeç are from a variety of university including Bilkent, Hacettepe, and also universities in Germany like Ludwig Maximilian Munich University.
For the ones who are interested in this very informative, intellectual magazine; their new issue is about photos, postcards and letters that are witnesses of our history. You can buy the magazine from Sanat Kitabevi or order it online. It is also possible to collaborate with the magazine and send them any beneficial information we have as readers. Only thing to keep in mind, pray for Kebikeç to protect your books tonight!

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