Divorced at 15: Inside the Lives of Child Brides
For Syrian refugee families in Turkey, early marriage is seen as a pathway to security though the outcome is not always as hoped.
When the war came to Syria, even families who opposed it felt they had to marry off their teenage daughters for their protection. Now, as refugees, they face the same dilemma. In neighboring countries like Turkey young girls are becoming single mothers amid an ignored child marriage epidemic.
The industrial city of Kayseri in the Anatolian region of Turkey is home to about 60,000 Syrian refugees. Photographer Özge Sebzeci recently spent time documenting a story she says is largely unknown in her native Turkey—the prevalence of marriage and divorce among Syrian refugee children.
Girls as young as 13 are getting married in unofficial ceremonies. Sometimes these unions don’t last, leaving the girls divorced at 15 with children to raise, facing