A top Sydney restaurateur has raised tens of thousands of dollars from food sales and donations to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey.

Somer Sivrioğlu, a Masterchef Turkey judge, said he couldn’t sit back and watch as fellow Turks needed help.

“I had to do something and this was the quickest thing I could come up with,” he told Central News. “This is just the beginning and it’s been amazing.”

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook southern Turkey and Northern Syria last Monday collapsing whole apartment blocks and leaving thousands of people buried alive and dead under tonnes of rubble.

It has so far claimed 37,000 lives, making it the worst natural disaster of the 21st century.

Hundreds of people lined up to show their support at a special lunch thrown by Sivrioğlu at his restaurant Madaynoz in Carrington Street, Sydney, on Sunday.

Serving kebabs, kofte, gozleme and baklava, the lunch raised a total of $34,200. The funds will be donated to relief efforts on the ground in Turkey.


Main photo: Madaynoz restaurant in Sydney is raising money for the victims of the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria. Photo: Mohamad Youssef.