In my last article, I gave some examples of the weird and interesting creatures that can be found in Turkish mythology. I will now continue with some more interesting creatures in this article.

Abra: Abra is a snake that lives in the underworld according to the old Turkic and Altaic beliefs. It is always seen with two other snakes named Yutba and Doydu, so it may actually be a sort of three-in-one creature, like how you often find three witches or goddesses in the old Celtic mythology.

Although Abra is described as a snake, when you look at its features, it seems more like a dragon-like creature. Abra is said to have four red legs, an extremely strong jaw, a forked tail, and eyes that look and shine like copper. According to the myth, Abra was created by Erlik and lives in the underground river to protect the realm. It is described as having a head like a crocodile and a body covered with scales, much like a snake.

Carsamba Karisi: In Turkish, Carsamba means Wednesday, while Kari means wife, spouse, or woman, but in this context, it means something similar to “hag.” A literal translation for this creature would therefore be something like “Wednesday Hag,” although this creature is more of an old wives tale than a mythological figure.

Besides being a scary creature, Carsamba Karisi is also an old Turkish saying that roughly means an unkempt dirty old woman.

Just as the literal translation suggests, the Carsamba Karisi is an old, dirty woman with long unkempt, matted hair. The myth goes that if somebody starts doing a job on a Wednesday, she will get angry, storm into the house, and kidnap a child right before the parents. Another belief goes that she is an evil spirit that randomly enters houses with any unfinished work and makes even more of a mess, meaning it takes longer to finish the work.

Gulyabani: The Gulyabani is a creature that is still widely known in Turkey. When Turkey became a Muslım country, most mythologıcal creatures were combined into being a “jinn” or just forgotten entirely, but the Gulyabani is one that still survives to this day. Unfortunately, it has evolved so much over time that one description barely agrees with another. Nowadays it’s generally used to describe an ugly, evil spirit. Similar versions of this creature can also be found in Russian, Azerian, and Arabian folklore.

It was originally known as an evil female spirit usually found in deserts and graveyards, and it would attack travelers. Its body was covered with hair, and it had a very foul smell. It would sleep in the graves in the day and come out at night, and it was especially fond of horses and children.

Later, this spirit evolved into a male figure with long hair and a long beard. He held a long stick in his hand, and he would kill people by hitting them with it.

Another belief says that it was a monkey-like creature with reddish and yellow fur, a bit like Bigfoot. It would occasionally approach hunters and speak with them, usually asking for something and offering to wrestle with them in return. If the hunter won, the creature would leave, but if the hunter lost, it would lick the hunter’s foot until it bled before drinking his blood.

Irsi: The Irsi (Ir-Shi) were female spirits that were a Turkish version of pixies or fairies.

They are generally described as being young and beautiful, tall, winged supernatural female beings with magical powers. They are depicted as being kind, gentle and sweet, as well as youthful and elegant. They also excel at dancing. One of their interesting aspect concerns how the Irshi cannot tell a lie.

They are generally thought to be neutral beings. In some stories, they protect princesses or help the hero of the story. They sometimes change their shapes to look human, sometimes even wedding the hero. In other stories, they have been known to kidnap babies.

Tepegoz: Tepegoz, a giant ogre-cyclops, is one of the most famous creatures in Turkish folklore. His mother was an Irsi, while his father was a shepherd. He is most famously known from the Book of Dede Korkut, where he is also depicted as a shepherd. He was thought to have extremely hard skin, such that he could not be hurt by arrows or swords. He also had a taste for the meat and blood of humans.

In the stories, he is killed by his half-brother Basat by first blinding him in his one eye and then decapitating him with a magical sword.