Turkish Photographer Beats Up Client After Learning Bride Is 15 Years Old

Turkish Photographer Beats Up Client After Learning Bride Is 15 Years Old

A wedding job for one Turkish photographer took a dramatic turn last week, after he ended up in a physical altercation with his client, even breaking his nose upon learning the bride-to-be was only 15 years old.

As reported by the Hurriyet Daily News, Photographer Onur Albayrak has admitted to the attack after learning of the bride’s real age. The story and support for Albayrak has snowballed on social media after it emerged he took action to halt the wedding. The drama unfolded after Albayrak queried the age of the bride, having been enlisted to shoot the ceremony, which was taking place on July 5 at Turgut Özal Nature Park in Malatya, eastern Turkey.

Speaking to the Daily News, he recalled his previous encounter with the groom before the day of the ceremony:

[He] had come to my studio some two weeks ago and was alone. I saw the bride for the first time at the wedding. She was a child, and I felt her fear because she was trembling.

Refusing to continue taking pictures, Albayrak claims his client insisted he was bound by their contract to photograph the wedding. Things soon turned violent when the groom initiated an attack as Albayrak tried to leave. However, the photographer ended up breaking his client’s nose in the commotion. “Child brides are [victims] of child abuse and no power on earth can make me photograph a child in a wedding gown,” he said.

Albayrak has received praise on his own Facebook post addressing the incident. The legal age for marriage is 18 in Turkey; however, child marriage is still a regular occurrence despite the threat of imprisonment for anyone who attempts to marry an underage person.

Lead image used with permission of Onur Albayrak.

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A 28-year-old self-taught photographer, Jack Alexander specialises in intimate portraits with musicians, actors, and models.

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Seems like a clear-cut case. Hope the "groom" gets imprisoned.

Hummm. I was not a aware that child marriage is a regular occurrence though illegal in Turkey. I would be interested to know the culture in Turkey that spawned this concept. Is it rooted in some religious doctrine? Or family structure in the culture.

With the West ideals of marriage evolving and the increasing adoration of animals/pets, would not surprise me to see some legal doctrine develop a human can marry their dog,cat, horse. The Old Testament could not be used to stop or hinder beastiliy. Since it is a “religious” doctrine. I hope our Nation never accepts this behavior as legal sexual union.

No American state has passed a law that categorically forbids the practice.

Child marriage is most common in conservative religious communities and poor, rural areas. But it can be found in all socio-economic strata and in secular, as well as pious, families. More than 207,000 American minors were married between 2000 and 2015, according to an investigation by Frontline, a television programme. Over two-thirds were 17 years old, but 985 were 14, and ten were just 12. Twenty-seven states have no minimum age for marriage. Encouragingly, the practice has become less common in recent years. This reflects changing social norms, higher rates of school attendance for girls and a decline in marriage generally. Whereas 23,500 minors got married in 2000, that figure had dropped to a little over 9,000 by 2010. Yet even as recently as 2014 more than 57,000 minors aged 15 to 17 were married

Appreciate the stats, as shocking as they are. Quick clarification: Delaware just became the first state to ban child marriages (less than two months ago). So 1 down, 49 to go! Progress, I guess?

Delaware was also the first state to ratify the Constitution, so they've been on the frontlines of passing Enlightened secular laws for a while now, lol.

To be fair, I'm not at all shocked; one hardly expects anything else from the US.

Turns out some old men fetishize women who are much younger than them. Some of them even fill their photography portfolios with images of them.

Not saying I approve of the practice, but the assumption that only old men are to blame here is seriously misguided. Lecherous appetites and behavior can be found in men of all ages.

OK so your sentence structure is a little difficult to follow, but it sounds like you're concerned that evolving notions of marriage in the West may lead to beastiality, and that the Bible is one of the only defenses against it? The so called "slippery slop" argument, I presume.

If so, fun fact: New Jersey was set to become the first state in the US to outlaw child marriages earlier this year (Delaware just became the first, BTW), and was stopped after some members of the Orthodox Jewish community demanded exemption from the law due to "religious reasons." So the Bible may stop people from marrying animals, but it doesn't stop them from marrying children (or more than one person, for that matter, which is illegal in the US). Pretty useless for modern morality purposes here.

In a nation run by laws rather than by religion (like America), marriages can be acknowledged when two consenting adults choose to marry. Key words here are "consenting" (which an animal cannot, and thus voids your fear) and "adult" (which, again, would not be stopped by laws based upon the Bible).

Adult in the context I'm using it is a legal term, which for the US is 18. Yes, it's changed many times, but so have laws in general; they change and evolve as a society changes.

Because we live in the present, not the future, and our current state of morals affect our emotions. Also, morality and legality are not intricately linked; I’m outraged by plenty of things that are legal, like the fact that marrying a child is still legal in 49 states.

That's not what I got from his comment but then, as you wrote, his logic is difficult to follow.

Hey man, if you want to justify having sex with children and animals, that’s your prerogative. Personally (and as a modern society built upon notions of enlightened civility, fundamental rights, and the rule of law) we don’t need to justify our morality using tall tales from thousands of years ago.

It only becomes a slippery slope when your only basis of ethical morality is intricately tied to mysticism.

I've been reading these comments with a lot of interest. I agree with your general reaction, although not the degree, to the "dimwits" comment, below. I hope you can understand how those of us, absolutely devoted to our beliefs and supporting literature might be similarly offended by your referring to them as "tall tales" and "mysticism". It's your right to consider them thus but incredibly rude to say so.

Look Sam, we disagree on a good deal here but I think we still respect each other. I was responding to what I consider a sick perversion of the beliefs you say I was rude about, ones that attempt to restrict others’ rights in an enlightened society. Personal beliefs are personal beliefs, and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with gaining some sense of morality from these stories. But if you use those stories to try and harm others I’m gonna get defensive.

It’s also rude to equate someone’s sexuality to beasiality and pedophilia.

If I didn't respect you, I wouldn't have bothered replying. :-)
I disagree with a lot of the interpretations and misinformation regarding the Bible and Christianity and would join you in calling those out. That's not what you did. I'm purposely not getting into my particular beliefs since they're not relevant to this discussion. Finally, I agree with your last statement and, more than just being rude, negative comments regarding an individual's sexuality aren't helpful, regardless the speaker's moral, legal or biological considerations.

Well then, if I disrespected you, my apologies.

You didn't. I replied as I did for an entirely different reason.

And by the way, there are numerous examples of polygamy in the Bible, and a slew of restrictions that modern society does not adhere to. But even the Bible can make a moral distinction against beastiality and consuming honey. The question is, why are you morally unable to do so?

"Slippery Slop" indeed!

You should work on your writing skills. You probably got a few downvotes from a misunderstanding of your intent. It's difficult to do and can also get you in trouble but, assume your audience has no idea where you're coming from because they often don't.

child marriage has its roots in religion and i know it has in islam. mohammed was married to 9 wives and 1 was a girl who was 9 years old. its not a turkish thing its a religion thing. in the time of consent and the metoo movement it would be interesting to see how the liberal snowflake left deals with that.

I'm no fan of Islam but neither of us knows the motivation behind this specific situation. I'm inclined to agree with Rob Davis, that he's just a pervert. As for people of differing political opinions, finding common ground to build mutual understanding and, therefore, a basis for healthy debate is better for everyone. :-)

Islam ruined Turkish culture and beliefs. Women used to be treated way different before Islam. Not a man's property. Of course it was ancient times and people got married very young like in other cultures but not to older men emough to be their grandfather. That's Islam. Dennis Johnson has a point about "the prophet"

My wife is Japanese. Frequently, when we visit her family, someone will ask me what Americans eat or do for fun or how we feel about something. I never know the answer. I only know about myself, some relatives and close friends.

I would like to shake this photographer's hand.

Isn't that the custom in certain parts of the world for them to be married that young? Wasn't Mary a teenager when she married Joseph and gave birth to Jesus?

If you believe the fable yes. But then you'd also have us believe they didn't have sex and it was a virgin birth. So not the same thing really.

Understand that I'm not taking a favorable position on minors getting married,(generally, I'm against it, and absolutely against forced marriages) but maybe some differentiation in these statistics are in order. There's a big difference between forced marriage of a minor and consensual marriage. There's also a big difference when the "groom" is decades older than the bride vs. both the bride and groom being of similar ages. Underage marriage can also include both being minors, which puts the burden on all the parents to decide if its appropriate. Then, of course, is there a pregnancy involved? No, I'm, not offering any opinion whatsoever (more or less), just pointing out some facts that may lie behind some of the statistics. It's not as black and white as some would think.

As for the photographer, good job! More power to him!

But it's Turkey and it's Malatya.It is very much black unfortunately. It's illegal under 18 but its done anyway. Some uneducated people count religious marriage ritual, which isnt legally legit. You have to get married with a state ceremony in Turkey and that ritual doesnt count. Thats how they get away, being not married legally. And the groom isnt minor and i doubt there is a pregnancy allowed. She wouldnt survive until the wedding in that case. :/ Besides, photographer said she looked scared.

Not that I don't understand you meant generally but again you need to consider the culture and people. I'm sure the situation would be a lot worse if it was be legal. It's not so hard to threaten a child to make it look like she wants it and I know everyone would ignore it even it was obvious. Because "God" allows it and the child should obey. These are horrible people. It wouldnt kill minors to wait a couple of years.

It's so easy to forget that this is a global forum. Yes, you are right. Much of my comment was aimed at those who were pointing out statistics in the U.S., where conditions are substantially different. While accepting your comments, I'll still stand by my comments as I don't see them as conflicting. Forced marriages of a child shouldn't exist anywhere. Consensual marriages of minors, when the two are close in age (one may or may not be a young adult) are another story and should not necessarily be summarily banned by law, but should be a family matter, starting with the will of the couple. Again, I emphasize "willing" bride and groom.

I see the same misleading title everywhere. They fought because the groom was angry at the photographer not wanting to do the job he was contracted to do and attacked him first. It's quite different than "photographer beats client".

But the photog did refuse to continue shooting the ceremony. Risking his professional reputation is honorable enough for me. And I figure that no charges will be filed against him since the groom was engaged in a potentially criminal act under their laws so, good for him for getting that punch in.

He didn't risk his professional reputation. All bets are off when the client is up to something illegal. It's the client's fault, not the photographer's.

Good on that photographer for being an honorable man. I hope he doesn't get any more trouble for this, and I hope the man who was going to marry the girl goes to jail. And if her parents "gave her" to that man, they deserve to go to jail, too.

deep respect for that photographer.

Just curious, why do you hate Mormons so much? You rag on them, out of context, from time to time.

What a bunch of dimwits. Child marriage is not a religious thing. . . It's a cultural thing. For most of human history, in ALL cultures, girls married much older men. It wasn't until the 1700s that child labor laws started the process of changing things. Absolutely not advocating for the practice. Make sure you acknowledge that last sentence. . .

I’d be careful throwing out a term like “dimwits” if you can’t get your facts straight. What child labor laws are you referring to in the 1700s? In the US, federal child labor laws weren’t passed until well into the 20th century.

Did I specify the U.S? I did not. Dig a little deeper. Also, my comment regarding the nincompoopery on display here was most specific to people casting dispersions at religious groups as a cause of child marriage. In point of fact, most religions have fought against child marriage since medieval times. That's all, folks!

I'm also curious as to these 18th century child labor laws. Feel free to throw out a reference any time you wish.

I gave the US as an example; one that I’ve researched. I also gave a modern specific example of a religious group that actively blocked a law to ban child marriage, so it is at least in part “a religious thing” as you said.

Seeing that you’re the one who threw out the statement on child labor, I have no requirement to “dig deeper.” I assume you have examples of large-scale laws that banned child labor in the 18th century, and I’d love to hear them.

Or were you “dimwittedly” making a comment without evidence to back it up?

My goodness. . . The lack of reading comprehension these days is truly astonishing. Note that I said "child labor laws started the process. . ." on this issue. The societal sentiments with regards to children marrying BEGAN in the 1750s as an outgrowth of the industrial revolution and it's effects on children working dangerous jobs in factories.

If you want to know more about it, go look it up. The good news is that a lot of education is free these days. The bad news is that you generally can't have it spoon-fed to you. Unfortunately, you won't find much on Wikipedia either. You'll need to visit a library.

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