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Germany

Massive German police operation targets Turkish nationalist boxing gang

The police operation across six states targeted Ottoman Germania, a Turkish nationalist boxing gang. Authorities classify the group as rocker-like gang similar to the Hells Angels.

Nearly 1,500 German police carried out countrywide raids on Wednesday targeting the Turkish nationalist boxing gang Ottoman Germania, in what authorities described as a major blow to organized crime.

Police, including elite commandos, raided nearly 50 homes, businesses and offices to conduct searches that yielded weapons, ammunition, drugs and 53,000 euros in cash.

One of the raids targeted the so-called World Chapter of Ottoman Germania Boxing Club in Dietzenbach, located south of Frankfurt. Raids were also carried out in the states of Hessen, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Niedersachsen and Hamburg.

Authorities said the goal of the operation was to gather evidence and understand the structure of the organization. The interior minister of the state of Saarland, Klaus Bouillon, said the operation was successful in breaking up Ottoman Germania.

Türkische Rocker Osmanen in Frankfurt (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken)

Police have had their eyes on Ottoman Germania since it was founded last year.

Among those arrested were two 21-year-olds wanted on suspicion of attempted murder.

The two 21-year-olds stand accused of carrying out a grenade attack in August on a shisha café frequented by the rival Kurdish gang Bahoz after suspected members of the group attacked and wounded two members of Ottoman Germania in the city of Saarbrücken. The 28-year-old president of the "Ottoman Saar" local chapter was arrested in a police raid on Tuesday and is accused of ordering the attack.

Authorities have for some time worried about conflict between the Ottoman Germania and Bahoz, accusing the two groups of carrying the political conflict between Turks and Kurds in Turkey into Germany with acts of violence.

Security officials classify both groups as rocker-like gangs that in structure and behavior are similar to the Hells Angels, only without motorcycles. Ottoman Germania describes itself as a boxing club, but authorities believe the group has nothing to do with the sport.

Founded in April 2015, Ottoman Germania is estimated to have 20 chapters and 2,500 members in Germany, according to official estimates. Including branches in Turkey, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden the group has some 3,500 estimated members.

Peter Beuth, the interior minister of Hessen, said that "regardless of under which mantle criminals believe they can operate in our country we will go after them with all the power of a state of law."   

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cw/kl (dpa, AFP) 

 

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