On 16.08.1999 I held a lecture in Istanbul at the company Telsim. In the afternoon I was able to gather some impressions of Istanbul, for example from the Bulgarian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Stefan, which was built of metal and of course of the Hagia Sophia (Sophia Church), however, the planned early return flight on 17.08. let me go to bed early.
But the night was short, around 3:00 in the morning there were thunderous noises, the pictures in the hotel room fell off the walls and .. the electric power went out and I was now standing next to my bed and now also completely in the dark without immediately to understand what was actually happening ...
Together with fleeing locals I arrived - equipped only with Birkenstock sandals and pajamas (the cell phone had become useless in the meantime) - in a nearby small park and helped with the care of the injured.
The Gölcük earthquake occurred on August 17, 1999 at 03:02 local time in Turkey. The earthquake, whose epicenter was just 90 km southeast of the old city of Istanbul, reached almost the 8 on the Richter scale and collapsed in the vicinity of my hotel houses.
The earthquake killed over 18,000 people in Turkey and nearly 50,000 were injured.