Opinion Culture Local Business News Archive

December 15-31, 2002
Year 13 No. 313

The Turkish Times
Opinion Culture Local Business News Archive
Miss Turkey Wins Miss World Competition

Turkey's Miss World contestant Azra Akin is crowned Miss World 2002 at Alexandra Palace in London December 7, 2002. Akin beat Miss Columbia Natalia Peralta and Miss Peru Marina Mora Montero who came second and third respectively. Photo by Kieran Doherty/Reuters
Ed Johnson, The Associated Press, LONDON (AP) - With a gleaming smile and a graceful bow, Miss Turkey won the Miss World contest Saturday, bringing to a close an international pageant that incited deadly rioting in Nigeria.

Azra Akin stood proudly to attention while her national anthem was played, after she accepted the glittering tiara and $156,000 prize from last year's winner, Nigeria's Agbani Darego.

"I hope I will represent the women of the world in a good way," said Akin, wearing her new Miss World sash over a flamboyant red dress. "I think it is good for a woman to have this position, and I hope I can make a difference."

Akin, who turned 21 this month and was raised by her Turkish parents in the Netherlands, plays the flute and listed her passions as ballet and belly dancing.

Miss Colom-bia Natalia Peralta was declared runner-up while Miss Peru Marina Mora Mon-tero took third place. Miss United States, Rebekah Revels of North Caroli-na, was among the 10 finalists.

Ninety-two contestants took part in the show, which was shunted to London after Muslim-Chris-tian rioting last month killed more than 200 people, forcing it out of Nigeria.

The pageant's motto is "beauty with a purpose," and among this year's contestants were lawyers, businesswomen, architects and a doctor. Unlike the pageant's heyday in the 1970s, this year's contestants glided along the catwalk in evening gowns rather than swimsuits - part of an effort to shed the show's sexist image. But swimwear wasn't entirely absent. As the women strutted across the elaborate stage, footage of them shot beside a Nigerian waterfall was flashed across giant screens. (On the Net: www.missworld.org)

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