Damage as quake hits northwest Turkey

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake has hit a town in northwest Turkey, causing damage to some buildings and widespread panic.

About 35 people were injured in the tremor early on Wednesday, mostly while trying to flee homes.

The earthquake was centred in the town of Golkaya, in Duzce province, about 200 kilometres east of Istanbul, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said.

It was felt in Istanbul, in the capital Ankara and other parts of the region. Dozens of aftershocks were reported, including one magnitude 4.3.

The quake woke people from their sleep and many rushed out of buildings in panic in the province that has experienced earthquakes in the past.

At least 35 people were treated in hospitals for injuries, mostly sustained during the panic, including from jumping from balconies or windows.

One of them was in serious condition, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told private NTV television.

Power was cut in the region as a safety measure, the minister said.

The quake demolished the exterior cladding and parts of the roof of a courthouse in Duzce, HaberTurk television reported. Among other damage, a two-storey shop collapsed on a narrow street, it said.

In Golkaya, people gathered in a main square, some wrapped in blankets distributed by the emergency management agency, television footage showed.

Duzce Governor Cevdet Atay said schools in the region were being closed as a precaution.

Turkey sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes.