Turkish woman claims to be the oldest person alive after celebrating her '119th birthday'

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A woman in Turkey claims to have celebrated her 119th birthday on Sunday, which would make her the oldest person in the world.

Turkish media reported that Seker Arslan had celebrated the astonishing milestone surrounded by her family in the northern city of Amasya.

According to her driving license, she was born on June 27, 1902, making her 119.

A woman in Turkey - Seker Arslan - is reported to have celebrated her 119th birthday on Sunday, making her the oldest known person in the world. However, it appeared that her family had got their maths wrong, presenting her with a 120th birthday cake (pictured)

A woman in Turkey – Seker Arslan – is reported to have celebrated her 119th birthday on Sunday, making her the oldest known person in the world. However, it appeared that her family had got their maths wrong, presenting her with a 120th birthday cake (pictured)

According to her driving license (pictured), Arslan was born on June 27, 1902, making her 119

According to her driving license (pictured), Arslan was born on June 27, 1902, making her 119

However, it appeared that her family had got their maths wrong, presenting her with a 120th birthday cake on Sunday.

Ms Arslan has six children, 12 grandchildren, and appears to have inherited her longevity from her mother who is said to have lived until 110 years old.

Her daughter, Serap Yueksel, put her mother’s long life down to eating natural foods such as butter, honey and cheese. 

‘Butter, honey and cheese were always on the table. She used to leaven her yogurt herself. She still has a boiled egg at breakfast,’ Yueksel said, adding that while her mother has Alzheimer’s disease, she has otherwise stayed healthy.

According to Yueksel, her mother’s only regret is not yet having any great-grandchildren to add to her family tree.

Arslan is still surrounded by relatives, however, as she lives with her daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. 

The family had a scare when they caught COVID-19 six months ago.

The family had a scare when they caught COVID-19 six months ago, but her daughter Serap Yueksel took precautions to ensure her mother was protected from the deadly virus

The family had a scare when they caught COVID-19 six months ago, but her daughter Serap Yueksel took precautions to ensure her mother was protected from the deadly virus

However, despite sharing the same space as their elderly relative, they did not pass the virus on to her, with her test coming back negative thanks to her daughter taking precautions not to spread it to her elderly mother.

Ms Arslan thanked her family at the birthday celebration, according to Turkish media. ‘Thank God, I didn’t even get sick. I didn’t even get the coronavirus. You have the disease, I don’t either,’ she said. 

Arslan spent most of her special day praying and recalling memories from her long life, in which she has lived through World War I, the Spanish Flu pandemic, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, World War II, the Cold War and now the Covid-19 pandemic.

She also found the time to receive a visit from Mesudiye Altun Guerlevik, president of the local women’s branch of the ruling Justice and Development Party, who wished her a happy birthday. 

Local officials want to have her birthday recognised so that she can claim the oldest living person title, overtaking the current record holder, Kane Tanaka of Japan (pictured in 2020), who was born six months later than Ms Arslan, on 2nd January 1903

Local officials want to have her birthday recognised so that she can claim the oldest living person title, overtaking the current record holder, Kane Tanaka of Japan (pictured in 2020), who was born six months later than Ms Arslan, on 2nd January 1903

Local officials want to have her birthday recognised so that she can claim the oldest living person title, overtaking the current record holder, Kane Tanaka of Japan, who was born six months later than Ms Arslan, on 2nd January 1903.

Ms Tanaka is currently the oldest confirmed person alive, aged 118.

But should her age be confirmed, Ms Arslan would top the list of the world’s exclusive group of living supercentenarians – people over the age of 110. 

The oldest person ever recorded was Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who lived from February 21, 1875 to August 4, 1997 – until the age of 122.

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