Thursday, March 13, 2008

Man retires to cave

A man who spent 27 years working in the city of Adana, Turkey, said he could not imagine spending his retirement anywhere other than a cave where he was born.

Mehmet Tilki, 54, said the cave, located in the Hasankeyf region of Batman province, has all the modern furnishings he needs -- including electricity and satellite TV -- as well as the feeling of home, the Dogan News Agency reported Wednesday.

"Living in a cave is something else. My family visits me from time to time. I am very happy here," Tilki said.

Tilki said he passes the time by breeding partridges and freeing them into the wild.

"I freed four female partridges just the other day. I also have 10 domesticated partridges in my cave. They are like my children. Waking up to their sound is like a dream," he said.

The cave dweller said he also has two dogs that keep his unusual domicile secure.

"This cave, which my father left me, is my everything. Whenever I touch the walls I remember my childhood. Reports about this cave being submerged underwater after the dam is built make me unhappy," he said.

The Ilısu Dam, which is currently under construction, is expected to eventually submerge much of Hasankeyf.

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