A Greek vs. Turk 'Survivor' just may ease a bitter past





ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- Call it hyper-reality TV. For its second season, the Turkish version of the popular "Survivor" reality-TV series upped the ante. It deposited a group of 20 Greeks and Turks on a deserted island and pitted the historic rivals against each other in a battle to see who will be the last one standing.

Taking ancient animosities and turning them into fodder for prime-time entertainment has certainly paid off. The show - a Turkish-Greek co-production running simultaneously in both countries - has been a big hit on each side of the Aegean.

But rather than stoking those hostilities, the show is being seen as an example of how popular culture is helping improve Turkish-Greek relations. When it comes to rapprochement, say observers, popular culture is outpacing the politicians. Just this week, Turkey's bid for European Union membership broke down over the country's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot trade.



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