More than £15,000 will be going to families in desperate need of support after a catastrophic earthquake struck Turkey and Syria.

Finsbury Park Mosque launched a fundraiser appeal soon after hearing the news of the disaster earlier this month.

A series of devastating earthquakes - the largest of which had a magnitude of 7.8 hit southern Turkey and north-west Syria on February 6.

So far an estimrated 42,000 people have been killed and many more injured.

The first deadly earthquake struck while people were inside their homes, asleep in their beds, with no warning signs. Thousands of buildings, including hospitals and schools, have collapsed and infrastructure has been badly damaged. Local responders are desperately searching through the rubble for survivors.

People have been left without shelter in freezing winter conditions and desperately need blankets, emergency shelter, food and clean water. 

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the mosque, said he was amazed how quickly the Islington community came together to help out.

Islington Gazette: Islamic Relief volunteers outside Finsbury Park MosqueIslamic Relief volunteers outside Finsbury Park Mosque (Image: Finsbury Park Mosque)

He said: “This campaign will continue, we will not stop there because the disaster is huge.

“We need to try and do their bit, this sort of money won’t change anything but at least we are doing our bit to help.”

Among those helping out was Arsenal Football Club, which reached out to help in the relief work.

Mr Kozbar says that the mosque’s fundraiser is focusing on monetary donations rather than donated materials, and thousands have been raised.

He said: “It really needs a collective effort, yes we’re doing our bit as a community and faith organisation but I really think it’s time the British government steps in and support those that are desperate.

“When we started seeing the images and videos coming from there, we thought it was a huge disaster and we need to start urgently as soon as possible.”

Islington Gazette: People collecting money at Finsbury Park MosquePeople collecting money at Finsbury Park Mosque (Image: Finsbury Park Mosque)

Mr Kozbar added that mosques across the UK have opened their doors to charities to collect money and said the Finsbury Park one will “probably do it again”.

He added: “It’s amazing to see how people react to it, from all communities not just the Muslim community.”

A vigil will held at the town in honour of the estimated 42,000 people killed in the earthquake.

Islington residents are invited to join the gathering at Islington Town Hall on Monday 20 February from 6pm to 6.45pm. Speakers at the event on Upper Street will include representatives from Islington’s Turkish and Syrian communities.

Councillors Rhoulin Khondoker, the executive member for equalities, culture, and inclusion, and Una O’Halloran, who has responsibility for homes and communities said: “We’re heartbroken to see the devastation that has happened in the area.

“We have a large Turkish and Kurdish community in Islington, and we know they are hurting right now so it is important we offer support and solidarity.”

Finsbury Park Mosque have launched a further appeal online, with an additional £1,000 raised so far. To donate, visit