There is a strong bond between men and beads in Turkey. Tesbih — worry or prayer beads — are used by men from all walks of life in Turkey and are an essential accessory to long, passionate debates. Tesbih could be the easiest topic of conversation started in male-dominated coffee houses or upscale social clubs in Turkey. Despite growing female interest in tesbihs, they are still an almost-exclusively male domain. The artisans, designers, salespeople and customers are almost all men. It is even seen as a sign of strong masculinity in different communities in Turkey.
As a woman, it is a mesmerizing journey trying to learn and engage Turkish men in the talk of tesbih. It is believed that you can tell one’s social status, preferences and even personality traits from the tesbih they own and how they carry their beads.