An important record of ground motion from a M6.4 earthquake occurring on May 1, 2003, at epicentral and fault distances of about 12 and 9 km, respectively, was obtained at a station near the city of Bingol, Turkey. The maximum peak ground values of 0.55 g and 36 cm/s are among the largest ground-motion amplitudes recorded in Turkey. From simulations and comparisons with ground motions from other earthquakes of comparable magnitude, we conclude that the ground motion over a range of frequencies is unusually high. Site response may be responsible for the elevated ground motion, as suggested from analysis of numerous aftershock recordings from the same station. The mainshock motions have some interesting seismological features, including ramps between the P- and S-wave that are probably due to near- and intermediate-field elastic motions and strong polarisation oriented at about 39 degrees to the fault (and therefore not in the fault-normal direction). Simulations of motions from an extended rupture explain these features. The N10E component shows a high-amplitude spectral acceleration at a period of 0.15 seconds resulting in a site specific design spectrum that significantly overestimates the actual strength and displacement demands of the record. The pulse signal in the N10E component affects the inelastic spectral displacement and increases the inelastic displacement demand with respect to elastic demand for very long periods.