ANKARA, Istanbul — Retiree Nevzet Eski, in addition to life's everyday challenges and hurdles, has taken on the role of sheltering dogs in the Turkish capital despite having little income and facing fines from local authorities.
"I retired in 2007. When I was working in the municipality, I had three dogs and fed them every day..." Eski told Rudaw.
He was born in Ankara, but grew up in Sivas.
"In 2007, when I was retired, I did not want to abandon them and leave them alone. I felt sorry for them. So I decided to shelter them here," he explained
Nevzet considers himself as a "shepherd" for the strays.
"Alleys here have stray dogs, so I adopt them and raise them from pups. Some of them I adopted when they were sick. I treated them," Eski added.
He currently has 80 dogs and 10 have litters of puppies. Without adequate public services, Eski feeds and waters the animals on his
"There is no water or electricity. I bring 100 liters of water every day from my house to them," Eski explained.
Due to raising so many dogs, health authorities fined him. But he says he does not have enough money to pay.
"There is a mosque here and the imams have filed complaints against me — also the municipality has fined me on various charges of 6,600 lira ($1,166)," he said.
Nevzet Eski's pension is 2,400 lira ($424) per month.
Also his neighbors do not like what he does, he claims.
"They do not like my job. But I will continue. Through my steadfastness..." he said.
Reporting by Shewket Herki