Photographer admits beating up man who wanted to marry child in Turkey’s east
Photographer Onur Albayrak (R)
A wedding photographer in the eastern Turkish province of Malatya has admitted that he beat up a man after learning that he was going to get married to a 15-year-old girl.
Onur Albayrak, the photographer, was declared a hero on social media following local media reports that he tried to stop a wedding after learning that the bride was a child.
“Yes, the reports are correct. A child bride means child abuse, and no force in the world can make me photograph a child as a bride,” Albayrak said on his Facebook account on July 7, adding that he did not regret his actions.
According to local media reports, Albayrak was hired to photograph the wedding at Malatya’s Turgut Özal Nature Park on July 5.
When he noticed that the bride-to-be did not look like an adult, Albayrak reportedly asked the groom about her age.
The photographer reacted angrily when the groom answered that the bride was only 15 years old.
The two men soon started fighting, and the groom’s nose was broken in the quarrel, according to the reports.
“The groom had come to my studio some two weeks ago and was alone. I saw the bride for the first time at the wedding. She’s a child, and I felt her fear because she was trembling. The groom attacked me as I was leaving,” Albayrak said, noting that he is “happy to manifest his reaction.”
The issue of child marriage is pressing in Turkey, with rights groups warning against the drastic numbers of child marriage.
According to Turkish law, the minimum age to marry for both men and women is 18. Only in exceptional situations a judge order is required to marry off 17 year olds. It is not legal to marry younger in any condition in Turkey.