Turkish centenarian decodes secrets of longevity

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 19.09.2019 00:07

The average life expectancy in Turkey is 75.6, but thanks to healthy genes and lifestyle, some people have managed to exceed that.

It always creates astonishment how people over the age of 100 stay healthy and exceed the average lifespan.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), there are 48,000 centenarians in Turkey and 107-year-old Vakkas Ekici is one of them.

Ekici from southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep is a father of 10 and grandfather of 40.

Asked about the secret of his long life, he said the key is to never stop working. "I never had free time until a couple of years back. I do not like to sit inside the house if the weather is lovely. I used to work in my pistachio field and spend most of my time outdoors," said Ekici.

Surprisingly, he does not have any major illnesses and has never been hospitalized. According to Ekici, he owes his good health to the organic food he has consumed since he was young.

"From my childhood, I have always had food that we grow ourselves," said Ekici. "My dinner table always has yogurt and honey. I have been consuming a special mix of honey and yogurt since I was a child," he added.

Despite his advanced age, Ekici does not need any assistance but had a message for everyone, "People should cherish their youth and give the necessary respect and care to the elderly."

The oldest living person in Turkey is 112-year-old Ayşe Uçar, who lives in southern Turkey's Muğla.

Born during the Ottoman era, Uçar is one of the few surviving people today who have witnessed the birth and growth of the modern Republic of Turkey.

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