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Wedding Photographer Breaks Groom’s Nose For Marrying Child Bride

Onur Albayrak, a wedding photographer in the eastern province of Malatya, Turkey, is receiving praise at home and online after refusing to perform as photographer then physically assaulting an adult male client with a 15-year-old girl as his bride.

“The groom had come to my studio some two weeks ago and was alone,” Albayrak said to the Hurriyet Daily News.

Albayrak was hired to photograph the wedding, which was taking place in Turgut Özal Nature Park on July 5th, 2018.

“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.” 

“A child bride means child abuse, and no force in the world can make me photograph a child as a bride.”

“I wish this had never happened, but it did,” Albayrak put on his Facebook.

“And if you were to ask me if I’d do the same thing again, I’d say ‘yes’.”

The legal age of consent for marriage in Turkey is 18 years old for males and females. Rights groups in the country continue to press the issue in the Turkish government however, warning that the problem is far from over.

An estimated 1% of all marriages in Turkey involve a bride younger than 15. And 15% of marriages under Turkish sovereignty occur with a bride under the legal age of 18.

The true numbers are hard to capture though. Statistics rely on registered data and most child marriages are unregistered and take place as unofficial religious marriages.

Albayrak admitted to beating the man up, but the assault was self defense according to the photographer. He originally merely refused to participate in the wedding after seeing the bride was below the legal age for marriage.

“The groom attacked me as I was leaving [but I was] happy to manifest his reaction.”

When Albayrak noticed the bride did not look 18, he asked the groom about her age. The photographer responded with anger when the groom told him the bride was only 15.

According to reports of the incident, the two men started fighting and the groom’s nose was broken.

Since breaking the groom’s nose, over 100 wedding organizers have contacted Albayrak to swear off any involvement in child marriages.

The government can make the act illegal, but having those who perform the functions boycotting the practice can only help to end it.

Under existing Turkish law, a judge’s order is required to marry anyone 17 years old. It is illegal under any circumstances to marry younger anyone younger than 17.

While even Albayrak himself does not advocate violence as a solution, no one is condemning his actions.

Breaking the nose of this groom is probably up there with punching Nazis.

H/T: The Jakarta Post, Hurriyet Daily News

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Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.