Bıçak / Pichoq

The Pichoq (pichok, pchak, pechak, Pchak) is the traditional personal working knife of of the Central Asian peoples such as the Uzbeks and Uighurs. The shape of the pichoq has remained largely unchanged since it first appeared in the late 15th Century.

The Bıçak (Bichaq, Bishaq, Bichaq, Bichac), also called the pichoq (pichok, pchak, pechak, P'chak), is especially interesting because the design influenced knife-making from Uzbekistan to the Balkans and throughout the Ottoman Empire.  Uzbek (Özbek) smiths are known to have traveled to the Middle East and shared their wares, designs and skills. An Uyghur population settled as far away as Turkey. Both Uzbek and Uyghur tribes belong to the same ethnic subbranch of Turkic people.  The word "Bıçak" simply means "knife" in the Turkic language spoken by these groups.

The bıçak is a single-edged dagger of Turkish origin, intended for use in close-quarters combat. It is widespread in areas controlled by the Ottoman Empire and its close neighbors. The earliest mention of a cutler making a bıçak appears in an Ottoman court book from 1555-1557.  The bichaq is roughly equivalent in size and form to the Indo-Persian kard (and similar kards also found in the Ottomon Empire).  Another similar knife is the pichokfrom Uzbekistan.  The blade of a bıçak is either straight, holds a slight forward curve, like a short yataghan, or very rarely a backwards curve, like a janbiya (jambiya).