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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53 Comments

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

Studio 403's picture

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.

user-189304's picture

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

Anonymous's picture

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.

user-189304's picture

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

Rob Davis's picture

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.

Right. Let’s burn heretics on fire.

Phil Bautista's picture

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.

Anonymous's picture

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 is a definition, driven by something similar to Bible - traditions and beliefs. It changed many times during humans history and "age of consent" concept is still not synchronised among countries.

Anonymous's picture

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.

"Yes, it's changed many times, but so have laws in general; they change and evolve as a society changes."

So in the future the laws might change so that 15 years old people can marry. Why the outrage, then? "Modern morality" and laws are merely subjective feelings imposed by a group of people.

Anonymous's picture

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.

The biblical definition of marriage is the union of a man with a woman, not with a child or with several women. I suppose in those times they considered that a human capable to reproduce is no longer a child.

Interesting that "modern morality" encourages a child to change sex and mutilate himself, but doesn't permit the same child to marry, because.... "so is the society, now". Tomorrow, if the movies are convincing enough, the definitions could change.

Animals don't consent to donate their wool, eggs, milk, honey etc or to be killed and eaten. So why do you think they need to consent for sex? So you have another invalid argument.

Anonymous's picture

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.

Anonymous's picture

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.

Anonymous's picture

Well then, if I disrespected you, my apologies.

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

Anonymous's picture

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?

Lee Stirling's picture

"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.

Rob Davis's picture

I would like to shake this photographer's hand.

Reginald Walton's picture

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?

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