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Saturday, 18 August, 2001, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Arrest in asylum murder hunt
Refugee women
Asylum seekers protested after Mr Yildiz was stabbed
Police say they have arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the death of a Kurdish asylum seeker in Glasgow two weeks ago.

Firsat Yildiz, also known as Firsat Dag, was walking in the Sighthill area of the city with a 16-year-old youth when he was stabbed to death just after midnight on Sunday 5 August.

Strathclyde Police said the man was detained with another man in connection with an assault on a German tourist in Glasgow shortly after the death of Mr Yildiz.

He is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Strathclyde Police
Strathclyde Police say they have made an arrest
The police inquiry has taken place against a backdrop of heightening racial tension in Glasgow.

Frustration among some local residents about asylum seekers being housed in Sighthill boiled over when news broke that Mr Yildiz had been stabbed to death.

This prompted hundreds of asylum seekers to take part in a protest march to the city council headquarters in George Square and demand action.

Dozens of local residents, mostly youths, then held a counter demonstration in Sighthill to highlight what they claim is favouritism towards asylum seekers and refugees.

Second stabbing

The situation was further inflamed when it emerged that an Iranian asylum seeker was stabbed in Glasgow just days after Mr Yildiz was murdered.

Davoud Rasul Naseri, 22, was injured during the attack when he took out rubbish from his flat in Sighthill.

He later told journalists that he no longer felt safe in Glasgow and that he hated the city and its people.

Police conducting door-to-door inquiries
Police conducted door-to-door inquiries
Scottish ministers stepped into the row on Wednesday 8 August when Scotland Office Minister George Foulkes confirmed that no more asylum seekers would be sent to Sighthill in the foreseeable future.

The Scottish Executive's Community Care Minister Malcolm Chisholm also met the Asylum Seekers Consortium.

Although the meeting was arranged weeks before trouble flared in Sighthill, proposals for new help measures were pushed to the top of the agenda.

Mr Chisholm encouraged other councils to play a part in housing asylum seekers and said an "integration forum" would be set up to help the "sizeable numbers of asylum seekers" settle into Scottish life.

On Thursday 9 August, two council's responded to the minister's appeal.

'Racial harassment'

Fife Council offered 100 houses to asylum seekers and West Dunbartonshire Council confirmed that it had 50 homes available.

But the debate took another twist later that day when it emerged that five families of asylum seekers had fled to London citing "racial harassment" as their reason for leaving Sighthill.

The Refugee Council gave the families accommodation for one night before relaying Home Office advice that they should return to Glasgow.

The city council attempted to defuse asylum seekers' fears on Friday 9 August by giving further reassurances that it was doing all it could to stamp out racial harassment

Since then, police have appealed for calm as they stepped up their hunt for Mr Yildiz's killer.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | Scotland
UN condemns asylum seeker attacks
10 Aug 01 | Scotland
More asylum seekers flee city
09 Aug 01 | Scotland
Councils to ease refugee plight
09 Aug 01 | Scotland
Newspaper faces refugee protest
08 Aug 01 | Scotland
Refugee mediator to be appointed
08 Aug 01 | Scotland
Stabbed asylum seeker's anger
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