Germany has banned Turkish-nationalist biker gang Osmanen Germania BC, accusing the group of carrying out violent crimes. Officials believe the gang has ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer outlawed biker group Osmanen Germania BC (Germania Ottomans) on Tuesday, banning them from all activity.
“The club presents a serious danger for individual legally protected rights and for the general public,” the ministry said in a statement.
The announcement came as police carried out raids on Osmanen Germania in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse. Authorities estimate the group has 300 members across the country.
Seehofer said the ban, which affects 16 club chapters, was part of a state and federal crackdown on organized crime.
“And of course that applies to biker groups like the Osmanen Germania, whose members commit serious offenses,” the minister said.
“Those who flout the rule of law shouldn’t expect any leniency from us.”
Since its founding in 2015, Osmanen Germania has become one of the fastest-growing gangs in the country.
Eight suspected members have been on trial in Stuttgart since March, facing charges that include attempted murder, extortion, drug trafficking, deprivation of liberty and forced prostitution.
The group is believed to have close ties to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and in the past has advocated Turkish nationalist and extreme right-wing views.
nm/jm (AFP, AP, dpa)