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Added September 22, 2009 with 8 photos

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- An 8-foot, 1-inch Turkish man who was recently certified as the world's tallest says he used to "kind of hide away" but now he is proud of his height.

Sultan Kosen, 26, who was certified as the world's tallest man by Guinness World Records, said through a translator during a tour of New York he used to be embarrassed by his stature, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

"I used to kind of hide away, but now I accept my height and accept that people are really interested," Kosen said. "I'm really proud, not only for me but also for Turkey, that I'm able to take this title."

Kosen, whose feet measure 14.4 inches long, said his current goal in life is to find love.

"To this day, I haven't had a girlfriend because, with my height, they're generally frightened," he said. "But eventually that's one thing I really want to have -- and she doesn't have to be as tall as me."

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