A folk dancer pauses during her performance at the \<a href=\"http://www.chicagoturkishfestival.com/index.php\"\>Chicago Turkish Festival\<\/a\> held in Daley Plaza from May 27 to 30.
Flags from the United States, Turkey and Chicago waved over Daley Plaza, where dozens of white tents comprised a plen air festival celebrating all things Turkish.
The religious dance ritual from Turkey known as \<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirling_dervishes\"\>Whirling Dervishes\<\/a\> mystified the crowd.
The whirling during the dance is known as \"Sema\" -- it represents a man\'s spiritual path toward enlightenment.
Women paraded across the stage to show off fashion from Turkey.
The men and women of the Tuana Folk Dance group stepped and stomped on the Daley Plaza stage.
Artist Fahri Cetinkaya sold original pieces of his work at the festival.
Cetinkaya\'s beautiful handcrafted pieces were made of \<a href=\"http://www.alopasali.com.tr/\"\>Turkuaz\<\/a\>, a turquoise-colored ceramic. In Turkey, turquoise is a color thought to bring good luck.
A vendor serves patrons \<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dondurma\"\>Dondurma\<\/a\>, a delectable Turkish ice-cream specialty that is believed to have been made since the 1700s.
With a taffy-like consistency, the secret of the Turkish ice cream\'s flavor is its most important ingredient: \"salep.\" Salep is extracted from the root of a wild orchid native to Europe and the Middle East and then ground in a mill.
A vendor sold Turkish meerschaum pipes at the festival. \<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meerschaum\"\>Meerschaum\<\/a\> is a soft white, gray or cream mineral commonly found floating in the Black Sea. Turkey is a major seller of the mineral.
Turkish plates and vases retailed upwards of $200.
A crafter who goes only by one name -- Gulin -- sold jewelry handcrafted from antique beads she purchased in Istanbul. A Western Springs, Ill. resident for 27 years, Gulin started making her jewelry about five years ago.
Patrons sipped thick \<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_coffee\"\>Turkish coffee\<\/a\> from tiny white cups at the festival. Turkish coffee is usually consumed at very high temperatures and can be used for fortune telling. It is traditionally served with a Turkish sweet on the side. The drinker is supposed to leave the layer of sludgy grounds at the bottom of the cup.
Turkish pashminas were worn by many of the vendors and shoppers at the festival.
Here are some photos from the 7th annual Chicago Turkish Festival.