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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Previous comments

In certan parts of the world life expectancy is lower and people start to do many things earlier, not waiting for the moment their parents kick them 30-years old from their child bedroom :)

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!

Minors are treated by law basically as an extension of their parents. They generally have no rights, but every person on the planet is ready fiercely fight for their rights. At least on internet forums :)

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.

Gil N's picture

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".

Phil Bautista's picture

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.

Well, he's not a Mormon. Their prophet married 14 year olds and 11 women already married.
Good for him on doing this.

user-156929's picture

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

Allen Butler's picture

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. . .

Anonymous's picture

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.

Allen Butler's picture

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!

user-189304's picture

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

The only difference is that medieval child is 12 years old girl and modern child is 18 years old anyone.

Anonymous's picture

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?

Allen Butler's picture

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.

Anonymous's picture

I read and understood your argument clearly. I don't appreciate your demeaning tone, especially when you're simply wrong and pretending to know what you're talking about.

Your quote again for context:
"It wasn't until the 1700s that child labor laws started the process of changing things."

The logical conclusion of this statement is that child labor laws had to exist in the 1700s in order for them to have any impact on society.

In fact I have looked it up (I've lectured on Lewis Hine in the past and in the process procured background context on the history of child labor) and there were no large-scale laws that barred children from labor in the 18th century, especially any that would that were far-ranging enough to affect social mores regarding child marriage (a dubious correlation you've made, also without evidence).

*Edited* I pulled out some of my notes to corroborate this point. Here's a quote from Professor James Schmidt, a labor historian focusing on child labor laws:

"The early modern relationship between the state and youthful labor had revolved around compulsion to work, but the nineteenth century brought a monumental reversal. Influenced by the Romantic understanding of childhood innocence, reformers in the industrializing states of Europe and America confronted the new problem of factory-wage work for children. Starting with the Factory Act agitation in Britain in 1802, central government slowly redefined the relationship between and youthful labor towards state compulsion not to work." -James Schmidt "Children and the State" in "The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World" ed Paula S. Fass (New York: Routledge Press, 2013), 175-176.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt to provide any evidence that I may have missed. The fact that you have yet to provide any, and attempted to deride my reading comprehension instead, shows me that until you do, you're talking out of your ass.

So don't give me this smug horseshit about going beyond Wikipedia in my research, bucko. Put up or shut up.

user-189304's picture

"Go and look it up"

Yeah, you're totes credible.

For future reference, if you want to direct someone to literature, the general way of doing that is the way that Allen did above.

Anonymous's picture

Of course the literature would have to exist in order for him to direct me to it. Nothing yet...

Could he simply be acting like an ignorant blowhard unable to admit his error?! If so, that would an Internet first!

Doug Stringham's picture

I love this guy. Hero in my book.