Travel Weekly reporter Gilbert Gjersvik was on a press trip in
Istanbul when the latest quake struck this week. His report
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- People ran from shops and buildings in the
heart of Istanbul on Monday afternoon as an earthquake measuring
magnitude 5.8 struck 60 miles west of the city in the province of
From inside a tour bus carrying writers down a narrow shop-lined
street here, only the sound of breaking glass and the panicked
crowds indicated that the quake had occurred.
Seven people were reported killed and 312 injured in the area
surrounding the epicenter, and in Istanbul some shops closed early
and phone lines were tied up for hours.
Two tourists from Akron, Ohio -- Diane Klein and Tom Robinson --
were in the Conrad International hotel here when the quake
Klein said the hotel swayed, and "we knew exactly what was
happening, put on our shoes and went outside."
The two were in Istanbul after a Windstar cruise of Greece and
Before traveling, they researched the risks of an Istanbul visit
by viewing the State Department Web site and getting a reassuring
fax that their agent -- Travel Unlimited in Elkhart, Ind. -- had
received from Windstar.
JoAnn Grossman of St. Louis was a Tauck Tours passenger along
with her husband, brother and sister-in-law.
After the Aug. 17 earthquake, they called their agent, Claire
Adams of Windjammer Travel in St. Louis, and she checked with
Tauck, which said there was no need to worry about Turkey.
Monday evening at a dinner hosted by the Turkish Ministry of
Tourism here, Feyza Surucu, deputy general director, said the
tourist regions had never been in danger.
And it is true, based on our viewing of the city, the major
sites and attractions of this city have remained almost completely