Mike Pozebanchuk was there, here's what he said:    
  Stayed in Istanbul three days at the Armada Hotel near the Sea of Marmara waterfront after the cruise was over. I had an early fllight (6:10 AM) out of Istanbul Tuesday morning (Aug 17), so I arranged for a wake up call at 3:00 AM. The earthquake struck at 3:05 AM. First the windows of the hotel room started rattling and a heard a low pitched rumble. Thought it may have been a large truck or something. but then the rumble stated getting louder and louder and the curtains started jumpimg up and down. Then the whole room starting to shake for a good twenty seconds, then a pause, then a second wave hit, an aftershock presumably. The whole thing lasted about 45-50 seconds. Lights in the hotel room went out a couple of minutes after the quake struck. The power may have been deliberately cut to prevent explosions from potentially ruptured gas lines. Back-up generator lights came on shortly afterwards. I never experienced a earthequake before but I knew this was one. At 3:30 took a cab to the airport. As we drove down the street, throngs of people were headed out of their hotels and homes for the waterfront, probably a civil defense precaution against further aftershocks. Found out at Ataturk airport that the epicenter of the quake was in Izmit. My flight was only slightly delayed. It wasn't until I arrived in Amsterdam and watched CNN World on a TV monitor that I was aware of the magnitude of devastation of this thing. Made it back to Houston Tuesday afternoon on schedule. I was concerned about anyone else from the cruise still in Istanbul, and for Ali our photographer. If any one has any more information, please let me know. Mike Pozebanchuk Sultan A passenger