Neighbour Cemile Dag said the collapse had brought to mind haunting images from a deadly quake that hit northwestern Turkey in 1999, destroying thousands of homes. I looked behind me and the building, like a deck of cards, fell to the ground.
Authorities evacuated seven surrounding buildings, and one was under serious risk of collapse. "There were wails, screaming".
Cevizli local headman Memiş Dikilitaş told Turkish broadcaster NTV that there was no explosion before the collapse, noting that the building, which was old, collapsed on its own.
"Istanbul is situated on a seismic belt", the expert said.
Prosecutors have begun an investigation into the incident and an Istanbul court issued a broadcasting ban, the country's top broadcasting authority, the Radio and Television Supreme Council, said in a statement.
"In the event of an natural disaster in Istanbul, we could be faced with a dire picture".
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