There are numerous observations made following a number of historic and contemporary earthquakes, claiming that the Ottoman traditional timber-frame, himis, houses have an inherent seismic resistant property. It is argued that timber frame houses behaved better under earthquake loading, based on the fact that the number of collapsed timber structures is less than the other construction types. In most of the reported cases, however, comparisons made for the seismic performances of himis houses and the others remain to be qualitative and lack quantitative engineering evaluation. The aim of this paper is to present the preliminary results obtained after a number of frame experiments which intended to investigate the seismic resistance of timber-frame Ottoman houses, within the framework of an ongoing research project. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, London.