Farewell ceremony held for Azerbaijani military pilot Rashad Atakishiyev

Baku, August 22, AZERTAC

A farewell ceremony has been held at the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry's Training Center for Lieutenant Colonel Rashad Atakishiyev, the pilot of the MiG-29 fighter jet of the Air Force of Azerbaijan, which crashed during a scheduled night training flight.

Assistant to the President for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies and Military Issues, department head Fuad Alasgarov, Minister of Defense Zakir Hasanov, Chief of State Security Service Ali Naghiyev, officers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, employees of the Turkish military attaché’s office and members of the public participating in the farewell ceremony expressed condolences to the parents and relatives of the pilot.

Speaking at the ceremony, Honored Art Worker, Colonel Abdulla Gurbani highlighted the life and military career of Lieutenant Colonel Rashad Atakishiyev. “Rashad Atakishiyev was born on January 7, 1985, in the village of Alabashly, Samukh District. He graduated from a secondary school named after martyr Shohrat Huseynov in the village of Gilindzhbeyli, Shamkir District. In 2002, he entered the High Military Aviation School, graduating in 2006. He worked tirelessly to master his profession in depth and had served up to the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his service in the Azerbaijan Army, Rashad Atakishiyev proved to be a professional, exemplary officer and patriot. His merits were always highly appreciated. He had been awarded various medals for distinguished service in fulfilling the tasks assigned to the military unit. His exemplary flights during the "Turaz Qartalı" joint flight and tactical exercises of the Air Forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as during last year's grand military parades, were highly appreciated,” he said.

In their remarks, the officers of Azerbaijan Air Force Colonel Elshad Panahov and Colonel Zaur Rustamov emphasized that they were proud to serve together with "such a patriot officer as Rashad". They noted that there were many Rashad-like servicemen in the Azerbaijan Army.

The pilot’s father, Saleddin Atakishiyev, expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, for immediate measures to search for the body of his son and for the high-level funeral in accordance with military rituals and honors. He said: “I am proud of my son Rashad and the fact that today his coffin is covered with the three-colored flag of Azerbaijan. My son lived with the desire to participate in the battles for the liberation of the occupied territories. Unfortunately, his wish did not come true. Today once again I assure all of you that along with my two sons, I am ready to fight for Karabakh by Order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Long live the Motherland! May our martyrs rest in peace!”

Then, the body of Lieutenant Colonel Rashad Atakishiyev was taken to the II Alley of Honors for burial with a mourning march performed by a military band.

The body of Lieutenant Colonel Rashad Atakishiyev was transferred to the ground under the arms salvo fire and the National Anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan following military and religious rituals. The flowers and wreaths were laid on the grave on behalf of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergency Situations, the State Security Service, as well as the Air Force and other bodies.

Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov handed the family of the pilot the tricolor flag of Azerbaijan, which covered the coffin.

Receiving the flag, Rashad Atakishiyev`s spouse, Konul Atakishiyeva, said: “I will bring up Turgut and Gabil, our sons with Rashad, worthy of his name, in the spirit of loyalty to this flag. Long live the Motherland!”.

A religious figure offered prayers for martyrs` souls.

The father-in-law of pilot Rashad Atakishiyev, professor Gabil Huseynli, expressed gratitude to the head of state and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense for the great attention to the officer’s family.

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