Germany bans Turkish gov't-linked gang Osmanen Germania

Germany has banned biker gang Osmanen Germania, accusing the group of carrying out violent crimes. Officials believe the gang has ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government
Tuesday, 10 July 2018 20:19

Germany has banned an ethnic Turkish boxer gang called Osmanen Germania (Germania Ottomans), saying it is involved in serious crime.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said July 10 that searches were carried out in four states in conjunction with the ban on the Osmanen Germania biker group. Police reckon the group has at least 300 members.

The group identifies with Ottomanism, espouses a macho boxing and biker culture and is reported to be close to Turkey's ruling AKP party.

"The club presents a serious danger for individual legally protected rights and for the general public," German Interior Minister said in a statement.

A trial of eight members of the group began in the German city of Stuttgart on March 26.

The members are accused of getting involved in a number of criminal activities, including attempted murder, extortion, drug trafficking, deprivation of liberty and forced prostitution.

The suspects are believed to have committed a number of crimes between 2016 and 2017 in Baden Württemberg state. According to the indictment, the club attempts to kill members desiring to leave the organization.

Metin Külünk, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and close confidant of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, directly and indirectly, provided money to the Turkish ultra-nationalist Osmanen Germania, according to research by Frontal 21, an investigative news program on public broadcaster ZDF and the daily Stuttgarter Nachrichten.