Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright on Sunday visited Turkish earthquake victims and the U.S. Marines who have been sheltering some of them, her helicopter passing smashed homes, mosques with toppled minarets and relief camps with row upon muddy row of tents.
Ms. Albright promised U.S. support for a rebuilding effort that is expected to cost at least $7 billion and possibly much more. Details will be discussed when President Clinton meets with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Washington later this month.
"Rest assured that we will stand by you now as you strive to recover from this tragedy," Ms. Albright told reporters, with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by her side.
Ms. Albright paid a 15-minute visit to a tent city in Izmit, where families were huddled under homemade shelters of plastic sheeting and blankets stretched across wooden poles. Marines at the camp were replacing the makeshift shelters with winterized green tents, big enough to house 10 people.
With the rainy season already starting, the Marines are rushing to set up some of the 5,000 tents that U.S. ships have brought to the area.