Germany has banned a Turkish biker gang on allegations it is involved in organized crimeand represents a threat to the general public.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said July 10 that searches were carried out in four states in conjunction with the ban on the Osmanen Germania BC club.
In addition to allegations the gang is involved in organized crime, German authorities have said the group is believed to have ties to some deputies of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and has been involved in intimidation of its critics in Germany.
The police in the German state of Baden Württemberg launched an investigation into Osmanen Germania’s alleged political links abroad in December 2017.
The German Interior Ministry said the group, founded as a boxing club in 2015, has 16 chapters around the country.
The group has 22 local chapters across Germany with around 300 members, many with Turkish roots, according to the Interior Ministry.
Since its founding, Osmanen Germania is reported to have taken steps to “assume dominance” against other similar clubs.
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 drug and gun dealing, attempted murder, soliciting prostitution, and blackmailing.
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.