The main Marmara fault (MMF) extends for 150 km through the Sea of Marmara and forms the only portion of the North Anatolian fault zone that has not ruptured in a large event () for the last 250 yr. Accordingly, this portion is potentially a major source contributing to the seismic hazard of the Istanbul region. On 26 September 2019, a sequence of moderate‐sized events started along the MMF only 20 km south of Istanbul and were widely felt by the population. The largest three events, 26 September 5.8 (10:59 UTC), 26 September 2019 4.1 (11:26 UTC), and 20 January 2020 4.7 were recorded by numerous strong‐motion seismic stations and the resulting ground motions were compared to the predicted means resulting from a set of the most recent ground‐motion prediction equations (GMPEs). The estimated residuals were used to investigate the spatial variation of ground motion across the Marmara region. Our results show a strong azimuthal trend in ground‐motion residuals, which might indicate systematically repeating directivity effects toward the eastern Marmara region.