BISHKEK -- Thousands of people have paid their last respects to to Kyrgyz writer and journalist Beksultan Jakiev, who died at the age of 85 after a long unspecified illness on April 25.
Prime Minister Ulukbek Maripov, Parliament Speaker Talant Mamytov, former President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and other officials attended the farewell ceremony on April 26 at Bishkek's Opera and Ballet Theater.
President Sadyr Japarov's letter of condolence to the late writer’s relatives, friends, and colleagues was read aloud at the ceremony.
Jakiev was known for his books and articles about Kyrgyz culture and history as well as about modern Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.
One of his most popular books was about the history of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, known locally as Radio Azattyk, and its long-time Cold War-era director Azamat Altay.
Jakiev was the recipient of numerous national awards and titles, including Hero of Kyrgyzstan, for his contribution to the former Soviet republic's literature, culture, and journalism.