Wedding Photographer Praised For Beating Up Man Who Tried To Marry A 15-Year-Old Girl

The Turkish photographer broke the groom's nose.

Cover image via Onur Albayrak

A Turkish photographer is receiving praise from around the globe after he admitted to disrupting a wedding between a man and a 15-year-old girl

Turkish photographer Onur Albayrak.

Image via Onur Albayrak

The Straits Times through Hurriyet Daily News reported that Onur Albayrak was hired to photograph a wedding on 5 July at Turgut Özal Nature Park in the eastern Turkish province of Malatya.

Albayrak noticed the bride-to-be did not look like an adult and confronted the groom, who admitted she was only 15 years old. Furious about the discovery, the photographer refused to continue his work and tried to stop the wedding.

Image via Onur Albayrak

A fight broke out and the groom's nose was broken.

"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," Albayrak told Hurriyet Daily News.

On 7 July, Albayrak admitted the act in a Facebook post, which has been met with praises and widespread approval from netizens, amounting to thousands of likes and shares

In the post, Albayrak revealed he does not regret his actions.

"I wish this had never happened, but it did. And if you were to ask me if I'd do the same thing again, I'd say 'yes'. Child brides are [victims] of child abuse, and no power on earth can make me photograph a child in a wedding gown," the photographer wrote. 

Since the incident has gone viral, Albayrak said more than 100 wedding organisers in the country have called him to promise they would reject jobs involving child brides

"I am happy to have raised awareness about this problem. My phone has not stopped ringing for a moment for the past two days as people around Turkey have been calling me to thank me and congratulate me for what I have done," he told Turkish newspaper Habertürk on 9 July.

The legal age of marriage has been set at 18 years old in Turkey. Exceptional circumstances are required to marry off 17 year olds.

Members of a women's rights group protesting in the streets of Istanbul.

Image via BBC

Child marriage remains a polarising issue in the republic, especially in recent years where increasing tensions have risen between supporters of secularism and those who favour religious conservatism. 

The issue of child marriage has been a subject of debate in Malaysia as well, ever since news about a union between a man and an 11-year-old girl broke:

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