Working Out with a Notorious German Biker Gang

By Matern Boeselager |
March 4, 2016

biker gang germanyWe’ve been wandering around a nondescript industrial lot in northern Berlin for about ten minutes when we finally spot them by a gate: Two men, built like bouncers—in leather cut-off jackets, their hair cropped very short. We approach them a tad uncomfortably, and they shake our hands without smiling. “Just go around the back to the little door. They’ll give you a warm welcome there,” one of them says, grinning. I start to wonder whether it was a mistake to arrange to meet the Osmanen Germania (Germania Ottomans)—Germany’s latest biker gang.

The group—whose name combines both the Ottoman and the German empires in allusion to its many members with Turkish background—was virtually unknown to the public until very recently. That changed when on the evening of January 25, around 80 members of the Osmanen Germania met in the city of Neuss and another 40 gathered in Duisburg two days later. The media went all out with it: “New Biker War Threatens Düsseldorf,” one local newspaper’s headline read. Other headlines included “Ottoman Bikers Expanding in Germany (Bild)” and “The Osmanen Germania Biker Gang Is Growing Rapidly (Die Welt).”

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