A blessing in Artsakh among the chaos: GCT interviews soldier groom of iconic Armenian newlyweds

Arthur Azibekyan Nune Martirosyan

Despite the bitter loss of large areas of Artsakh to the Turkish-sponsored Azerbaijani invaders over the past few days, especially after yesterday’s trilateral deal between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, a blessing still occurred with Arthur Azibekyan marrying his beautiful wife Nune Martirosyan on Saturday.

The wedding of Arthur and Nune has instantly become memorable because of the iconic photos taken.

Arthur Azibekyan and his wife Nune Martirosyan.
Arthur Azibekyan and his wife Nune Martirosyan married in Artsakh. Photo credit: Khlghatyan Photography.

The 27-year-old Arthur told Greek City Times that the Azerbaijani invasion of Artsakh began on his birthday, September 27.

“I am from Koti in Tavush region, which is a border village with Azerbaijan and has always been under Azerbaijani attacks,” he said.

“Let me tell you that I was born in a border village and my mom had to give birth in a shelter when the village was under attack from Azerbaijani forces. I am telling you this to emphasize that we have never been surprised by their aggression and this war was not a surprise at all,” he said.

Of his 22-year-old wife, Arthur said her ancestry is of Armenian Genocide survivors that were expelled from Western Armenia by the Turks and found shelter in the small village of Ashnak located between Ararat and Aragats mountains.

“Both of us live and work in the capital city Yerevan,” he said.

When asked about Turkey’s role in the invasion of Artsakh, Arthur said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has this “dream of building the Ottoman Empire again and to annihilate all Christians from the territory. Ask yourself, why does Turkey have conflicts with Syria, with Cyprus, with Libya?”

“I want to cite our wedding Godfather who came from the frontline and went back there after our wedding: ‘Armenian soldiers who fight on the frontlines want to see happiness on their return, they want to be sure that they protect a land which is full of love and where three times more heroes are born in a new family than our homeland has already lost’,” Arthur recounted.

Arthur Azibekyan and his wife Nune Martirosyan.
Arthur Azibekyan and his wife Nune Martirosyan married in Artsakh. Photo credit: Khlghatyan Photography.

However, who is the person that took the iconic photos?

The credit goes to Samvel Khlghatyan, a 24-year-old photographer who has also been fighting on the frontlines against the Azerbaijani invasion.

Khlghatyan, who can be followed on Instagram, said he was in Yerevan when the war started and the next day on September 28, he decided “without hesitation that I must be there with my friends.”

The photographer also revealed that he fought on the Yeghnikner front against the Azerbaijani invaders.

Returning to the beautiful couple, Arthur explained that he met Nune in 2017 at a non-governmental organization called “For Armenian Soldier.”

“It aims to support our defense army through a variety of activities ranging from organizing cultural programs to providing military logistics. I am the Vice-President of the NGO and Nune is the NGO website visual content manager,” he said.

“I proposed to Nune in Artsakh in a borderline trench where one of our heroes Robert Abajyan was killed during the 2016 April Wars,” Arthur said.

In explaining who Abajyan was, Arthur said “He is actually the youngest soldier to be awarded the title ‘Hero of Artsakh’ at only the age of 19. Abajyan fought for several hours against the special forces of the Azerbaijani military during the 2016 clashes.”

“After finding himself trapped by the enemy, he presented himself as if he was giving up, however when Azeri groups were approaching him, he pulled out a grenade and blew up the approaching Azeri soldiers with him,” Arthur recounted of his heroism.

“We highly appreciate this heroic act and wanted to mark our special day by making it happen in this sacred place,” he added.

“The symbol of our newborn family is the love towards and the devotion to our homeland which brought Nune and I together and made us one. Our decision to get married amidst the war for Artsakh is to show the strength in the rear, the belief in the victory of our soldiers,” he said.

Arthur Azibekyan Nune Martirosyan Artsakh wedding.
Arthur Azibekyan and his wife Nune Martirosyan married in Artsakh. Photo credit: Khlghatyan Photography.

In concluding his interview with Greek City Times, Arthur had a final message.

“We are thankful to our Greek brothers for their full support during all these times. We want all the world to open their eyes and fight against terrorism,” he concluded.