Aghet: A Genocide

Aghet: A Genocide

2010, Politics  -   55 Comments
Ratings: 7.89/10 from 93 users.

Aghet is a powerful documentary, depicting the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 and the effects of the Turkish government's international campaign of genocide denial.

The film highlights the Turkish authorities' current policy of those crimes. Award-winning director Eric Friedler assembles an impeccable cast, who bring to life the original text of German and U.S. diplomatic dispatches and eyewitness accounts, interspersed with never-before-seen footage of the Genocide and its political aftermath.

Using the actual words of 23 German, American and other nationals who witnessed the events, and armed with archival materials, Aghet expertly takes on the challenge that PM Erdogan hurled at the world by stating: "Prove it."

The film, applauded by Nobel Prize laureate Gunter Grass, has sparked debate throughout Europe.

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55 Comments / User Reviews

  1. jim

    amazing documentary ,i like armenians and i congratulate them for made many world's important countries to accept the armenia genocide! Turkey did at the same time an almost equal in magnitude genocide by erase forever the Greek history of minor asia and efxinos pontos , the result of this campaign was the death of almost 1,5m Greek orthodox christians !

  2. armen stepanian

    DENIAL is more than a big river in Egypt. Having a common enemy is a traditional way of unifying your group behind you by creating an "us" and a "them". The well known virtue of "machismo" that requires finding a reason for losing in a conflict, like WW1. Hence Mustapha Ararat's claim that the "disloyal" Armenians caused the Turks to lose in WW1. How does it benefit Turkey to maintain its DENIAL-ism? It's expensive for them and will become even more costly. Look at how long memory holds all the previous cruelties and now Erdogan's grand plan for eternal dictatorship. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The next time you recycle at your doorstep remember the resilient Armenian-American who started it all in Seattle 43 years ago. Because his parents taught him to understand OPEC. Google, etc. archives it. Recyclingly yours, armen.

  3. Harun Gurpinar

    These are all the game of EU. They failed to get lands from Ottoman empire. When we look at the past of the western world, clearly we can see the bloodshed, terorism, racism, genocide, invasion, even human zoo's not long ago. The western world & armenians are hand in hand. Trying to drag Turkey into their own crap. Even the first prime minister of the independent armenia Howhannes Katchaznouni admitted in 1923. Simply They failed to get lands from ottoman empire who were figthing the world. They dont want to face this deep and destroying shame.

  4. d. murat yucel

    Azeris are murdered with national intentions. Armenians are victims of theft and poverty. Don't forget that Turks died from war conditions are way higher than Armenians. Do some research and don't believe everthing you heard, especially fake sorrows to gain benefits of Jewish people.

  5. Elizabeth Dodov

    What terrible defeat, we are not wiped out as the Young Turks wanted and we are successful all over the world. As far as your uninformed comments about Armenians killing Turks, where do you get your information??? Your soldiers died in the war against the allies. It was not Armenians that killed them. The Turkish soldiers tortured and kiled old men, women and children as ordered. For your information, my grandfather was an officer in the Turkish army fighting the allies. In 1922 he was told by his superior to go get his family and get out as they were in danger of being deported. He left all his property, ranch, cattle etc. to his nieghbor who had him wear women's clothes and drove the family of six over the border to Bulgaria. There was no rebellion, the Young Turks moto was Turkey for the Turks, and getting rid of the Armenians was a convenient way of solving Turkeys economic problem. By the way, all three leaders were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Turkish courts.

  6. stevecaulfield

    The overall concept of this documentary seems to be: "what would coverage of the event known as Aghet look like if it were covered by today's media?" This was probably done in order to make the event more relevant by using a mediated language that the viewer of today would understand. The idea is wonderful, but I have some issues with the way in which it was carried out.

    More maps and use of newspapers or other historical documents to back up the accounts of the eye witnesses would have made this piece more effective. The documentary "We Shall Remain", about the American genocide of the Native Americans does this excellently, with visuals showing the shrinking borders of the areas held by various tribes over the years. The absence of visuals like these made the progression of events difficult to follow, and the reliance on the actors and archived footage alone to tell the stories is not enough to carry the horror.

    Somehow, the narrated segments i find mostly unwatchable, and the use of the actors very awkward. The switching of narrators makes it really difficult to follow. Subtitles would have been more effective, as the performances of the actors shade the meaning of the eye-witness accounts on one level, the performances of the voice-over artists on another. Some are more heavy-handed than others, which doesn't work, yet some are just fine. The constant adjustment of the ear is a lot of work for audience to do.

    There are also these odd frames in between certain segments that weren't edited out, as if this version of the film wasn't completely finished.

    It would be an immense hypocrisy for the American government to decry the cover-up of the Armenian genocide, when Native Americans themselves are fighting the same fight in the United States. Perhaps they should ally?

  7. Benyamin Shaker

    not enough on Islam

  8. Benyamin Shaker

    too much blame against germany.

  9. Guest

    Why all this Western politiciens not talking about
    France ? murder and killing in Algeria and differrent African country''s ?
    Why they dont talking about the occepied region Karabag where the Armenians killing the Azerbeidzjani''s ? The UN have many rapport that Armenia occupied Azerbeidzjaan region Karabag in not so far time.
    Another Western country''s that was killing in Afrika country''s they dont talk. Many European country''s vote in them parlemant that Turkey make a genocide , but this is not the work for politicians. Why if this politicians means verry good they dont vote about France that killing and murdering in Algeria , no one is talking about , never. Turkey says many time to open the archiefs on both site , Turkey and Armenia , and international Historians and Academians work on this and make a sollution , but Armenia never accept because they have nothing.
    All this Western parlemants that vote for a genocide make nothing to this between Turkey and Armenia. In that time Turkey was attacked from all side from Christian country''s and it was a war time. In war time ofcourse some people are killing , also Turkish people is killing on that war time. The true is that Armenia have occupied Karabag , one Azerbeidzjaan region and they have killed many Azerbeidzjani''s like 10 years ago , noboday is talking about that , Azerbeidzjaan have many rapports from the UN , but all this Western politiciens that want that accept Turkey a Genocide dont talking about Azerbeidzjan.

    1. ina

      Armenians are killing?? it will be useful for you to read history and Azerbaijan's and Armenia's.. why Azeri cant remember 1988..when they killed Armenians living in Baku..they are talking about Karabagh..In 1991 there was war..and Armenia won..and Armenia protect his own land.. we can consider that there wasnt a war..ok. but Armenia won .. it says everything

    2. Anar Musayev

      So you we can say there was Word War I and armenians lost

    3. Vahan Yian

      war and Genocide is different.
      Armenians were never part of the world war I.
      They had been enslaved by turks for 600 years and they had no rights, let alone rights to bear arms...
      Plus they were citizens of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman army had Armenian commanders (much ironically bcoz most Armenians weren't of the right race to be part of the army)

  10. Alex Sala

    So much for my naive ideas about Turkey as a relatively progressive and enlightened society. The official denials and the posts of deniers below in the face of overwhelming, grisly evidence are truly sickening.

    Sophistry and slick phrases used to hide such sheer horror contributes to present intolerance and lack of knowledge.
    To me, no country's 'honor' (a ridiculous concept to begin with) is more important than the suffering of countless innocents.

  11. Mikayel Charchyan

    Ethnic minorities are still vulnerable in Turkey. We shouldn't forget that we live in the 21th century. We have internet other highly sophisticated communication means, but still Armenians, Kurds are still to a certian extent are not protected in Turkey. Can you imagine what was going on in Turkey during WWI? Unfortunately, I can do it and the picture I face is horrible. A country which was failing in the war and had many internal problems one of which where Armenians decided that it's time to cat and bring to live their plans of eliminating ethnic Armenian population and use the state of war as an excuse.

  12. ClownAndGate

    My heart goes out to all those wiped out in this genocide. My heart also goes out to all the Turkish families destroyed in that war. War is a terrible thing - and people do terrible things during wars. The Turkish need to accept that it happened, and accept that the international community is already satisfied that it happened. They need to address this fact, so that Armenian and Turk can both - together - move on.

  13. oldfox

    While "genocide" is malum per se, it was not malum prohibitem until 1944-45. If you want to punish or resolve an outrage in 1925, you can't do it with an ex post facto law adopted 20 years later. Didn't the English Parlement try this on the Irish by famine and eviction? Wasn't Andrew Jackson the father of the Trail of Tears? Weren't the Zulus seeking a genocide on the British Tribe in Kenya? Opium Wars? Jim Crow laws?

    There are millions of miserable, bitter people in Lebanon and in Miami: Palestinians and Cubans. Look, you lost your country. Now get over it, and live your life today without forever licking the wounds of antiquity. God loves YOU and has forgiven you for everything.

    1. Maddestmax

      Oldfox, for "God loves YOU and has forgiven you everything"

      I award you the Most Morally Bankrupt Statement prize. Congratulations.

    2. Philip


      You are good with throwing out big words; it would however suit you to do a little research. While you are correct that "genocide" was not malum prohibitem until 1944 because the word did not yet exist, you fail to recognize that Raphael Lemkin who coined the term in that year based it on the Armenian experience which began in 1915. Lemkin presented the idea in the early 1930s to the League of Nations, again, based on the Armenian Genocide.

      He is quoted in a CBS interview saying, "I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action."

      So your argument not to punish the Turkish government with an ex post facto law doesn't apply, since the law was a direct result of the Armenian Genocide.

    3. Vahan Yian

      the Armenian Genocide was a planned series of events that was to annihilate any Armenian (simply because of their race)

      Armenians had lost the war to the Mongols long before the Genocide. Armeians had witnessed massacres and injustice for centuries before the actual Genocide. The claim to justice isn't about the war crimes or the massacres because of turmoil, but the planned extermination of a whole race, who had no rights to arms or to defend themselves!

    4. Elizabeth Dodov

      We have survived and live our lives well all over the world. The difference is that Americans do not deny that the "trail of tears" happened. Germany does not deny that the Jewish genocide happened. Can you imagine telling them to "get over it"?
      The problem is these wounds never entirely heal and "getting over it" is a sure way of allowing them to fester. It also gives permission that it happens again. Hitler when planning the final solution stated, " Who remembers the Armenians?? WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET!!

  14. Ramiz Rona Ta?k?nlar

    such a mono-sided documentary, it is as if the Young Turks did all the killing just because they wanted an ethnical cleansing; well, genocide takes time for planning , zone control, systematic killing, organised resources both men and arms in which the ottoman empire had none at that time, and yet the ruler of the empire was unable to take control of Istanbul, let alone those 6 states presented in the documentary.

    And yes, there were killings of Armenians and Turks, but Turks has suffered the most from the war, especially those living in the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Albania ; %76 percent of the Turkish community had to suffer the consequences of the revolt of such states, had to put up with the indiscriminte killings of the greek soldiers, rapes, casual neighbors turned to enemies and had to leave their lands overnight just because they were muslims; yet no claims were made as a "genocide" because they all knew that it will just be good for excuse for politicians, liars,arms dealers and insurance agents..

    Just because you hear somebody crying doesnt mean that they are right; it is just because they are hurt. Armenians in Turkey still survive and thrive as a community, and they respect the Turkish laws and turkish history more than the islamic idiots. They educate their kids with the best schools and they are very good artists and versatile businessman. They are socially accepted in every way of the society and have a postive impact on the society yet they choose to keep their wealth and beliefs between themselves.

    History has thought us one thing, you cant kill people with guns, bombs and mines; yet u can divide them with lies and hatred; for all those want to embrace the good and evil inside and treat each other as the children of the God; you are welcome. For those who seek hatred and war, you will just reap the whirlwind...

    1. pwndecaf

      That was a bizarre post. Somewhere between denial, maybe, maybe not, they got hurt but not as bad as the Turks, they are thriving, socially accepted.

      But watch out for the whirlwind (code for consequences of telling the truth).

      So, do you deny it happened? It was an accident? What?

    2. Edgar

      Did you not watch the whole movie!? Did you not hear what all those people that were there and were not a turkey or an Armenian witnessed and later expressed?

  15. brixmo

    What to expect from Turks , fcking animals ...What crimes they do in they so call "Ottoman Empire" whole Turkish race should be exterminated.

    1. Jack1952

      It's wrong to exterminate Armenians but Turkish genocide is fine. Yeah, I guess that's logical in a xenophobic kind of way.

    2. Vahan Yian

      no it's not okay to exterminate anyone.
      I as an Armenian do not wish to hurt any turk, but will not hesitate to defend myself when turks come for me...

      As an Armenian in 2015 I still feel the hatred turks have towards me...
      It has to stop... turkey needs to admit to its crimes and start the healing process... turks have to stop hating Armenians

  16. dylans1

    Turkey has nothing to fear from an honest account of history. Germany accepted responsibility for the Nazi holocaust and has been able to move on as a nation.Britain has recently accepted responsibility for its crimes in Kenya. Many countries have dark histories that they cannot change but they can give an honest historical account of them and they can accept responsibility.

    Turkey is afraid of damaging its national reputation but far far more damage is being done to its reputation by its repeated attempts to deny silence and revise a historical fact that the whole world knows happened. .There is no doubt in the historical record, genocide took place. All the denials in the world will never change that fact. Its time for Turkey to accept this fact, make reparations, apologise and learn from these terrible events to ensure they never happen again

    Turkey's reputation rose in the eyes of the world recently when it condemned Israel's occupation of Palestine and siege of Gaza and especially Israel's murder of peace activists aboard the flotilla. The world applauded Turkey during these events. The world would applaud Turkey if it gave up this incessant and blatant denial of history and accepted the historical truth of its own crimes.

    All crimes against humanity should be condemned where ever they take place and whoever commits them. Whether it is the US, France (which still need to take responsibility for its crimes in Algeria) Israel today in Gaza and the West Bank or in the Nakba of 1948 or my country the UK for its crimes under its empire. We are all people of the world and should never be afraid to condemn our governments and hold them to account if they commit crimes against the people. There is no shame on the Turkish people today because of crimes committed in 1915. There is a great shame in denying those crimes took place or in silencing those who speak out against them

    1. HappyandProud

      It's really amazing how some people can begin to wrote about any subject at all and turn it into an anti-semitic/anti-Israel rant.

  17. oQ

    I tried to find the real words to the song "Ils sont tombés" by Charles Aznavour. But couldn't not.
    If you speak French, c'est une chanson magnifique!

    1. thinkagainagain

      "a beautiful song" ?

    2. oQ

      Beautiful may not be quite right as the subject of the song is quite miserable, but it touches a sad reality in a very extraordinary way.
      Aznavour is well known by most French speaking of a certain age group or younger.

    3. A reply

      Charles Aznavour is of Armenian descent.

    4. oQ

      I i say Aznavour is well known to us Frenchies. A well decorated man for all he has done.

    5. thinkagainagain

      I wasn't questioning the beauty of the song. I was wondering if I translated correctly with my piss-poor high school French many years removed.

      The song is beautiful but the images were deeply disturbing.

      Thanks for the link.

  18. FatihTripplej

    I challenge the Armenian side to take their claims to International court of Justice. As they have been strongly advised in a number of cases. Turkish side has and always been happy to share their historic records on the Armenian claims. The problem is weather or not the Armenian side is happy to do the same. Instead of buying out politicians to push their agenda, they should hire professionals to investigate such immense accusation. I'd be happy to accept the Armenian story if a group of experts ( not politicians) come to a unanimous decision that the claims of genocide are true. But having said that, they would also need to answer to how thousands and millions of Turkish soldiers and civilians perished in the hands of Armenian rebels. Until such proper investigation of their claims, I will with many millions of people around the world continue to believe that the Armenian genocide as the biggest political hoax of the 21st century. For those watching the video, please don't make any judgements based on this video as the story is more complex than what the Armenian's have been claiming for the last 20 years.

    1. Ercan Be?li

      The Ottoman Parliement itself sentenced the Young Turks' leaders to death for the crimes they had committed against Armenians. What would you say about that?

    2. Mikayel Charchyan

      First of all, I think the comparison of massacring innocent kids, women and old people and stealing their property with killings of Turkish soldiers whose agenda was to kill Armenian rebels, Russian troops etc. was at least inappropriate. Soldiers die during any war, it's horrible, but it's the realty. However, when kids and women are slaughtered it's unacceptable. My second point is about complexity of history. I totally agree with you that history is complex. Given the whole complexity of history have Turks question themselves why Armenians were not supporting Turks during WWI? The answer is very simple and it's not about religion. Armenians could not support state which had been exploiting Armenians, the right of Armenians of self-determination, which were regularly organizing Armenian mass killings even before WWI. Look that I am saying Turkish state and not Turkish people, because I still believe Turkish people, at least majority, was tolerate but not supportive of what was happening. And finally, the world knows the truth and the evidence of it is more than enough and this film which is very objective proves all my points.

    3. FatihTripplej

      What I'm suggesting is, why can't we allow non-Turks and non-Armenian's to decide for themselves? There is an abundance of historic records from both sides - that is in spite of the Armenian governments reluctance to not open their historic archives regarding their " genocide claims". Above all, one would also need to point out that, millions of Turkish men, women and children had perished in the hands of Armenian rebels, during their crusades on Turkish villages. Does justice only exist for Armenian's? What about the innocent 1.1 million Turkish men women and children who lost their lives in Armenian revolts within the Ottoman empire. What are your suggestions on this issue?

    4. Vahan Yian

      you ask for proof from the widely documented Genocide of the Armenians, yet you throw claims with no proof for them? do you have any news articles from the time about Armenians ruthlessly massacring turks? Armenians do...

      Do you have pictures? official reports? real demographic evidence?

      I guess not, so please stop denying and move forward.. .for your and our sake...

    5. AS

      Why would we lie? What makes you think that Armenians have nothing better to do with their rich history that they have to make up something so horrific and to top that, we need to prove it to you in your favorable way. It was already proven by the terrible deaths of our dear grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters. You on the other hand can continue to be blindfolded.

    6. FatihTripplej

      Im pretty sure that you believe every single word that you have said no doubt about it. But the thing I want to reiterate is that those making the claim do it through the wrong channels by politisizing the matter and furthermore blackmailing Turkey politically. That myfriend isn't going to change any perceptions here - the opposite is going to happen its going to make them rightfully even more defensive because if something politicised I would rightfully question it's integrity. From my own personall research I have found that there was world war where millions of innocent Turks have parished because of an illeagal invasion. During that time the Armenians rebelled to establish a nation for themeselvesl and they brutally killed thousands of innocent Turkish and Kurdish civilians and Turkish defense did respond to the Armenian atrocities to the innocent civilian deaths and yes the Armenians lost against the Turkish republic and they were kicked out to stop the further rebellion.

    7. AS

      I am not your friend. This is not about WWI. The genocide was planned and executed by Turks. Your personal research does not interest me at all, especially one that's written in modified Turkish books. I have a personal eyewitness story from great grandparents. Also you need to look up the definitions for "war" and "genocide" as they are not the same. Regarding the current economy, you are simply trying to change the topic of genocide!

    8. AS

      I am not your friend. This discussion in not about WWI. The genocide was planned and executed by Turks. Your personal research does not intereat me at all, especially one that's re-written and modified in Turkish books. I have a personal eyewitness story from a great grandmother.
      Also, you need to look up the definitions of "war" and "genocide" as they are very different. Regarding the current state of the Armenian economy, you are simply trying to change the topic of genocide!!

    9. FatihTripplej

      Shows what Armenians were 100 years ago nothing barbaric cowards that target innocent civilians. Those coward terrorist rebels who wanted to take Turkish land while the people were weak and ipoverished from years of assult and invasion. They were also not our friend. They got defeated by our forefathers so will your lies. Truth will prevail. If not today, tomorrow.

    10. AS

      The only right thing you said so far "Truth will prevail. If not today, tomorrow." It always does!

    11. FatihTripplej

      What ever makes you feel more comfortable. The truth is out there for everybpdy to find out. Those who seek the truth will undoubtedly find out that the claims of the Armenians are false. I sugesst every non- Turks or Armenians not to succumb to stupid propoganda and do there own research and listen to both sides of the story. I hope you accept this as a fair gesture. ☺peace.

    12. Elizabeth Dodov

      I am appalled at your ignorance, how did the Armenians kill Turks without weapons? Did you not see the pictures of Turkish soldiers marching the Armenian women and children to the desert? The courts, including yours found the Young Turks guilty and sentenced Taalat Pasha to death. About Bulgaria and the other Balkan countries, Turks were occupiers, they did many atrocities and after 500 years of their rule they fought and won their freedom. Armenians never rebelled. WW I was a convenient excuse to get rid of a large Christian minority and appropriate their property.

    13. FatihTripplej

      There is no black and white story here. There are Armenian claims politisizing the event to distort the history. The truth of the matter was ( and you are free to believe whatever you want to believe) there was an open war against Turkey, and the Armenians saw it as an advantage to cteate a nation of their own. That wad an invitation for war which did happen and the Armenians like the allies lost. You can cry all day and all night but its nıt going to change this reality. Turkish civilians were the worst affected whichever way you look at it. Difference between the Armenians and Turks is we are now friends with our old foes wgwhile the Armenians a stuck in their terrible defeat. Don't be judgemental and habe respect for other peoples views.

    14. FatihTripplej

      Historians should open the archives whatever desicion they make should be taken to a special tribunal held by a third party. Besides it' so stupid that people are still talking about a war that happened 100 years ago. I believe its time That everybody moved on. sides in world war 2 gave alrwady moved and they made great progress in every field. It's time that Armeniams moved on as well. You could use a couple of brains to improve your economy back home for example.