Fact check: Photo doesn’t show man and child bride, but kindergarten teacher and student

Social media users have shared a photograph that they claim shows a man and his child bride. This claim is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Examples of posts sharing the image can be seen here and here .

In the photo, a bearded man wearing a turban is seen posing with a young girl, who appears to be wearing a wedding dress.

Text alongside the image reads: “No, that’s not his daughter...that’s his wife! Yet the world is silent...”

According to several Turkish news articles ( here, here , here and here ), the photograph actually shows a teacher and student at a kindergarten in the Turkish city of Elazig.

The articles explain that children are made to wear wedding dresses to celebrate the fact they are starting to read the Koran.

The images made headlines in Turkey, where the role of religion in public life is a sensitive topic. The country has a secular constitution, but President Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party have introduced huge changes in the past two decades by championing religious education, building thousands of mosques and lifting a ban on wearing Muslim headscarves in public ( here ).

None of the articles, however, suggests that the girl in the picture is a child bride.

A photo of the same event posted on social media provides further context and helps to verify the location ( here ).

In the photo, a portrait ( ) of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) the father of the secular Turkish republic ( here ), can be seen hanging on the wall.

The child in the photograph is much younger than the legal marriage age in Turkey, which is 18, or 17 with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.


False. The photograph shows a kindergarten teacher and student, not a man and his child bride.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).