President George W. Bush says that United States is ready and willing to help Turkey in the wake of last week's deadly earthquake. The death toll from the quake now stands at 176.
Mr. Bush made the offer in a phone call to Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says Mr. Bush wanted to personally extend his condolences to the people of Turkey and offer American help. He says the president placed the call from his plane, Air Force One, while traveling early Monday from his Texas ranch to a speaking engagement in Arkansas.
Mr. McClellan says the president was particularly saddened by the fact that so many children were killed and injured in the quake.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit last Thursday in eastern Turkey. In all 300 buildings collapsed, including a boarding school.