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                    Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Skaneateles, New York)
For Immediate Release                                    August 31, 1999
                       REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

THE PRESIDENT: The recent earthquake in Turkey is one of the worst natural disasters of the century. Tens of thousands of people are either confirmed dead or still missing.

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

Turkey is our long-time ally. The Turkish people are our friends. Today, they urgently need assistance. Many are severely injured. Hundreds of thousands are camping outdoors. There is a serious risk of disease spreading. We must help the victims rebuild their lives.

Working with Turkey's government and others, American military and civilian personnel, including teams from Fairfax County, Virginia and Dade County, Florida, helped with the rescue efforts. Now we're helping provide shelter, water, sanitation and medical services. I'm grateful to all those participating.

Here at home, Americans are helping, too -- including religious leaders of many faiths, who've united to call for prayer and humanitarian action. I encourage my fellow citizens to give generously to charitable organizations supporting the relief efforts. For information, you can call our toll-free number in the U.S., that's 1-800 USAID-RELIEF -- 1-800-USAID-RELIEF -- or look on the Internet at


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