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Friday, February 10, 2023


GUEST BLOG / By the Staff of 

Help! On Monday, a devastating earthquake hit southeastern Turkey and the nearby Syrian border. Over 11,000 people have died, with thousands more injured, and the death toll is expected to rise. It’s a tragedy that hits close to home for many on the Culinary Backstreets team. 

Luckily, all our guides and contributors and their families are safe, but the devastation to the town of Gaziantep, Turkey, can’t be understated. It’s a place that is particularly special to us - we used to run tours in Gaziantep, and we have long loved this city for its culinary culture and beautiful traditions. 

 Both countries need aid and support, both now and in the future as they grapple with the effects on health and infrastructure - particularly Syria, a country that has endured armed conflict, a pandemic, and other disease outbreaks. There are a lot of ways you can help if you’re based in Turkey — our Istanbul-based guide Benoit informed us that Güneşin Sofrası, a restaurant he often visits, has dedicated around three-quarters of the restaurant’s space to storing relief items, which will be sent to the areas affected by the earthquake. 

 But there are also ways to provide assistance from abroad. To donate to relief efforts in Turkey, consider Turkey’s search and rescue organization, Akut, and the Turkey Mozaik Foundation, which works with civil society organizations on the ground. World Central Kitchen, which has been quick to set up food relief operations in other previous crises, is also now on the ground in Turkey and worth supporting. 

Go to where we will continue posting ways to help in our social media, and we hope that even if you can’t provide fiscal help, you share posts and information to keep this tragedy alive in the public eye.

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