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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                    August 21, 1999


On behalf of all Americans, Hillary and I offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives in this week's devastating earthquake in Turkey. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragedy.

Turkey is our long-time ally, and the people of Turkey are our friends. Now, with many of them in desperate need, we must do all we can to help. And we will. Working with the Turkish government and other partners, we are already engaged in a broad-ranging assistance effort. Our civilian and military personnel are participating in search and rescue efforts; assessing emergency humanitarian needs; providing medical services; delivering medicines, blankets, and shelter materials; and helping to coordinate overall international aid.

The task ahead is immense. Approximately one million people are sleeping outdoors, clean water is scarce, and the risk of disease is rapidly increasing. I know many Americans will want to help relieve the suffering and restore hope to the people. So I encourage my fellow citizens to give generously to responsible charitable organizations that are supporting relief efforts.