‘It’s so terrible, but London has pulled together very quickly,’ Ibrahim Dogus says
A Muslim-born restaurateur has told how he fed hundreds of emergency service workers for free in the aftermath of Wednesday’s terror attack.
When police ordered Ibrahim Dogus to evacuate and close his three restaurants in the wake of the incident, he decided to keep Troia, on Belvedere Road yards from Westminster Bridge, open so police officers had a place to eat and keep warm.
“I went to one of the officers and said ‘I can shut all the businesses, but I want you guys and all the emergency staff to use this place for food, drinks, and for warmth for free’,” he told The Independent.
“All these great people need our support. Some of them tried to give us money—one said, ‘I’m a police officer, you have to take my money.’ We said, ‘We’re not going to take any money from you.”
Mr Dogus, the founder of the British Kebab Awards, kept the restaurant open until 11.30pm “until the last officer was fed”. He estimates he fed between 300 and 500 emergency workers from the police, London Ambulance Service, and London Fire Brigade.
“We wanted to play our role in terms of supporting the emergency crew. This was happening right at our doorstep. If you walk two seconds on my doorstep I would be on the bridge. I use the bridge to take my kids to school, not on that day, but I live next to the area, I work next to the area.”
All three of Mr Dogus’ Kurdish restaurants—Troia, Cucina and Westminster Kitchen—were inside an exclusion zone cordoned off by police in the aftermath of Wednesday’s attack.
“It could have been any of us killed by these lunatics,” he said. “It’s so terrible, but London has pulled together very quickly. The first day after business was quiet but now it’s back to normal.”
Mr Dogus said he was born into a Muslim family but does not currently practise any religion.
A Muslim-led fund to support victims and victims’ families of the terror attack in Westminster, in which five people were killed including the attacker and 50 were injured, has raised more than £25,000 in a few days.