Every wedding is bound to have some quirky drama. But the drama that ensued at this wedding was certainly called for.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
It isn't a rare occurrence to see some drama at weddings. A drunken toast, cold feet...sometimes, it just happens. But drama at one particular wedding was not between friends and family members, but between the groom and the photographer hired to capture the special moment.
Turkish wedding photographer Onur Albayrak was asked by the groom two weeks before the wedding to capture the beautiful ceremony. Little did he know that he was being asked to photograph the groom and his to-be child bride! Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported the story.
According to the newspaper, the photographer arrived at the wedding venue in Eastern Turkey and was in complete shock when he realized that the bride was a young 15-year-old girl. Furious, he did more than just refuse to do the job, he also stood up for the "trembling" young girl. And he did that by punching the much older, adult groom in the face and giving him a broken nose.
“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," Albayrak said. At the time, he didn't know her age but when he got a good look at her, he realized that she did not look old enough to be getting married. Wanting to make sure that she was an adult before he starting shooting the ceremony, he asked for her age.
June 26, 2019
And what he learned made his blood boil. He got into a heated argument with the groom which ended in a massive fight between them. Onur confirmed the news through social media and said, "Yes, the reports are correct. A child bride means child abuse, and no force in the world can make me photograph a child as a bride."
"She’s a child, and I felt her fear because she was trembling. The groom attacked me as I was leaving," explained the photographer. But he also mentioned that he did not regret his actions.
Those who found out about his act of heroism praised Onur. Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of campaign group Equality Now, told Reuters, “Very often for social reasons people don’t want to make a scene so I am really happy he did this. He should be hailed as a hero, we need more people like this."
But what was truly disheartening was the fact that he was the only one brave enough to voice his outrage amongst the huge crowd present. It is still unknown whether the family went through with the wedding despite the photographer's protest.
“True hero. Turkish photographer, Onur Albayrak, stopped the wedding he was hired to photograph after realizing the bride was only 15-years-old. More than 100 wedding organizers in Turkey have called him to promise they would reject child brides.”... https://t.co/RxznVapSeM— Kick at Darkness (@KickDarknessNow) July 22, 2018
Though the law protects minors by prohibiting the marriage of those under the age of 18, there are various official reports that show that there is an obvious increase in the number of child marriages. Though illegal, many Eastern Turks accept it as part of their tradition and culture. However, Onur is someone that society can look up to; his act has encouraged people to fight for what they believe in.