By Ali Kucukgocmen
MERSIN, Turkey (Reuters) -An American caver who had become trapped more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) underground in southern Turkey after falling ill was rescued early on Tuesday, Turkey's TUMAF caving federation said, after a days-long international rescue operation.
Mark Dickey, 40, was on an international exploration mission in the Morca cave in Mersin province's Taurus mountains, when he reportedly began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding at a depth of 1,040 metres.
"Dickey was removed from the last exit of the cave," TUMAF wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
"Thus, the cave rescue part of the operation has ended successfully. We congratulate all those who have contributed!" it added.
Italian rescuers said Dickey was taken to the medical tent at the camp for checks.
More than 150 rescuers from Turkey, Croatia, Italy and other countries worked for nine days to rescue him from the country's third deepest cave.
Footage from previous phases of the operation showed Dickey lying inside the cave and receiving treatment by a medical team. Footage also showed other teams moving down the caves with ropes and making their way through narrow passages.
(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen, Writing by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Sandra Maler)