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Miss Turkey Crowned Miss World in London - 2002-12-07


A young Turkish woman has won the Miss World pageant in London, after the contest was dogged by boycotts, riots, and a last-minute change of venue.

Miss Turkey, Azra Akin, accepted a glittering tiara and more than 150-thousand dollars in prize money today (Saturday) before a sellout crowd at London's Alexandra Palace. She said she hoped to represent the women of the world, in her words, "in a good way." Miss Colombia took second place and Miss Peru, third.

When the pageant was planned to be held in Nigeria, several contestants boycotted, protesting a death sentence issued to a young Nigerian mother convicted of adultery.

Then, some 200 Nigerians died in riots after a journalist suggested the Islamic prophet Mohammed would have approved of the pageant -- and even taken one of the contestants as his bride. Last month the pageant organizers hurriedly moved the event to London to escape the fray.

Both issues were acknowledged briefly during the ceremony, which was televised all over the world.

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