Battle of Bash Abaran Secured Independence for Armenia
BELMONT, Mass.—Historian Dr. Dikran Kaligian will present a lecture titled “The Battle of Bash Abaran: Winning Independence for the First Republic of Armenia,” on Oct. 19, at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, Mass. 02478. The program is co-sponsored by NAASR and the Armenia Tree Project.
In the spring of 1918, the Armenian people faced a desperate situation. The Russian Revolution meant that the Russian armies that had liberated much of Western Armenia had gone home and Turkish armies were now attacking Eastern Armenia. Russian-Armenian troops and former fedayis were joined by streams of civilian volunteers in three battles on the three roads that led to Yerevan.
At Bash Abaran, General Drastamat Kanayan (Dro) fought Turkish forces more than twice the size of those he led. Despite the odds, Dro and his forces not only stopped the advance on Yerevan but also drove the attackers back beyond Hamamlu (Spitak).
The breakneck changes in diplomatic, political, and military fortunes during those key days will be outlined during the talk, as they led to the establishment of the first independent Armenian state in nearly six centuries.
As the 100th anniversary of the battle approaches, the Armenia Tree Project has begun to beautify and improve the Abaran site, planting trees and shrubs and developing walking paths. This project will culminate in May 2018 with a ceremonial tree-planting at the park.
Dikran M. Kaligian is the managing editor of the Armenian Review. He received his Ph.D. in history from Boston College. His book, Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule, 1908-1914 was published by Transaction Publishers. His articles have been published in the Journal of Genocide Research, Genocide Studies International, the Armenian Review, and in the books Through a Lens Darkly: Films of Genocide and Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks.
For more information about this program, contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.