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MMA fighter’s shooting sparks fears of biker gang violence in Australia

Gokhan Turkyilmaz, who has been accused of being a member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, suffered eight gun shot wounds earlier this month.

According to Nine News, a 27-year-old man was shot in the leg, after reaching for a machete, during a brawl on February 4th at the Logan Hyperdome Shopping Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

The Daily Mail reported that the brawl at the shopping centre was between members of the local chapters of the Rebels Motorcycle Club and The Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

All of the individuals involved in that incident have since been arrested. One of those men was MMA fighter Gokhan Turkyilmaz, 33, who Nine News named as a member of the Rebels. Turkyilmaz was charged with one count of affray and one count of acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm.

Turkyilmaz was charged days after he survived a shooting at a home in Upper Coomera. During that shooting Turkyilmaz suffered eight gunshot wounds to the groin. After extensive surgery he was released from hospital. It is suspected that the attack on Turkylimaz was a Bandido revenge attack for what happened at the shopping centre.

On the same day Turkyilmaz was attacked, a tattoo studio belonging to the Rebels’ North Brisbane chapter president was firebombed. The Mail reported that the attacks have sparked fears of a turf war in Queensland between the Rebels and Bandidos.

After he was released from hospital Turkyilmaz took to social media to taunt his alleged attackers. ‘Shot eight times, will take more than that to put me away,’ wrote Turkyilmaz. ‘Had harder sparring sessions.’

Turkyilmaz has a pro MMA record of 15-14. His first pro fight was in 2010 and his most recent bout was in April last year. On his record are fights with UFC veterans Damien Brown, Ben Alloway and Fight Nights Global’s Murad Machaev.

The Rebels Motorcycle Club was founded in Brisbane in 1969. The Rebels have chapters across Australia, as well as in Canada, and the US. Rebels chapters reportedly exist in a number of other European and Asian countries, too.

In 2012 legislation was passed in Australia prohibiting the wearing of patches, jewelry and other items representing the Rebels. That legislation applied to a number of other outlaw motorcycle clubs including the Bandidos.

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club was founded in 1966 in San Leon, Texas. Today it has chapters and affiliates across the US, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and Oceania.

One of the first reported Australia-based clashes between the Rebels and Bandidos occurred in 1997. It’s then that three Bandidos, including National President Michael Kulakowski and National Sergeant-At-Arms Sasha Milenkovic, were shot dead at a night club in Sydney. Two men with ‘strong connections’ to the Rebels were found guilty of the murders.

Another widely reported clash between the clubs happened in 2008, when Bandidos member Ross Brand was killed in a drive-by shooting outside of a Bandidos clubhouse in Geelong. A man connected to the Rebels affiliate club Death Before Dishonour was charged with the murder.

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