Meet Onur Albayrak. He’s a wedding photographer who takes beautiful pictures of loving couples in his native country of Turkey.
But on Wednesday, he went to photograph a wedding in Malatya in eastern Turkey, and was stunned to find out that the bride was just a child, reports Reuters.
At the altar, a shocked Onur declared that he couldn’t take pictures of a girl in a wedding dress. Then he tried to stop the wedding.
“I saw the bride for the first time at the wedding. She’s a child, and I felt her fear, because she was trembling,” Onur wrote on Facebook.
Then Onur tried to leave the wedding — but was stopped by the groom. The situation quickly escalated and Onur ended up breaking the groom’s nose.
“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,” Onur wrote on Facebook.
In Turkey, the minimum age to get married is 18, but in spite of this, there is a still child marriage. Men who marry minors risk jail, but Turkey still has one of the highest child marriage rates in Europe, according to Reuters.
Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of campaign group Equality Now, which works to highlight the issue, describes Onur’s actions as “epic.”
“He should be hailed as a hero, we need more people like this,” Hassan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
He now hopes the groom will be brought to justice.
While we don’t normally agree with taking violent action, we think we can make an exception here. Onur is true hero whose brave action deserves all the praise we can give him.
It’s heroes like Onur who are on the front lines of stopping the cruel practice of child marriage. Share this article to help pay tribute to the wonderful wedding photographer!