May 26 is a memorable day in Armenia, the day of the victory in the Battle of Sardarapat, during the First World War (1914-1918), which took place on May 21-28, 1918—between the regular Armenian army and civilian troops, on the one hand, and the Turkish invaders who entered Eastern Armenia, on the other hand.
The battle took place near the town of Hoktemberyan—today’s Armavir, near the Sardarapat railway station.
After the victory of the October Revolution in 1917, Russian troops left the regions of Western Armenia occupied during World War I. Taking advantage of this, the Turkish authorities decided to take back not only Western Armenia, but also occupy Eastern Armenia and the whole Transcaucasia.
The victory of Sardarapat was of great importance for Armenia: The Armenian population of the northern part of the Ararat Valley was saved from genocide by Turks, most of Eastern Armenia was saved from the conquest of the Turks, and conditions were created for the restoration of the Armenian statehood. And on May 28, 1918, the Republic of Armenia was proclaimed.
A day of remembrance was established in honor of the victory at the Battle of Sardarapat and the defeat of the Turkish army, and the Sardarapat architectural complex was opened in May 1968, on the 50th anniversary of the battle.