But when a huge earthquake hit Istanbul and northern Turkey in 1999, the Greeks reacted out of character. Apparently concluding that a horrific natural disaster was worse than Turkey deserved, the Greeks stepped up to the plate, sending rescue crews and medical aid and raising a large sum of money for the relief effort. One Greek guy even called up the Turkish embassy and offered to donate a kidney to anyone who needed it. For the first time in decades, little rainbows started shining through the two nations' mutual disdain.
"They're hoarding gold! Kill 'em!"
Then, less than a month later, a separate earthquake hit Athens. At this point, we've got to believe Poseidon was attempting a kind of horrible diplomacy the only way that he knew how. But it worked, as Turkish rescue efforts flooded into Greece, with Greek commentators struggling to contain their emotion at the outpouring of support.
This time the thaw stuck around. Diplomats from the two countries started meeting to discuss closer relations. Greek ships began docking in Turkish ports for the first time in 25 years. Greece even agreed to drop their opposition to Turkey entering the European Union. The Turks even agreed to stop pretending to stab old-timey Greek soldiers. We assume they moved on to pretending to stab, like, North Koreans or somebody. The point is, all it took to break the ice was two earth-shattering cataclysms. Hey, it's just the way humans are.
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