Crustal fluids exist near fault zones, but their relation to the processes that generate earthquakes, including slow-slip events, is unclear. Fault-zone fluids are characterized by low electrical resistivity. Here we investigate the time-dependent crustal resistivity in the rupture area of the 1999 M-w 7.6 Izmit earthquake using electromagnetic data acquired at four sites before and after the earthquake. Most estimates of apparent resistivity in the frequency range of 0.05 to 2.0 Hz show abrupt co-seismic decreases on the order of tens of per cent. Data acquired at two sites 1 month after the Izmit earthquake indicate that the resistivity had already returned to pre-seismic levels. We interpret such changes as the pressure-induced transition between isolated and interconnected fluids. Some data show pre-seismic changes and this suggests that the transition is associated with foreshocks and slow-slip events before large earthquakes.