Azra Akın – The first ever Turkish woman to win Miss World

17 Jan 2024 | Priya Bhardwaj

Azra Akin from Turkey was crowned Miss World 2002 at the finale of the 52nd edition of Miss World held on 7th December 2002 at the Alexandra Palace in London, United Kingdom. Azra became the first ever Turkish woman to be crowned Miss World as she bested 87 other delegates at the international platform.

Azra Akin, a Turkish-Dutch actress, dancer and model, was born in Almelo, Netherlands to Turkish parents. Azra competed at Star TV’s Miss Turkey in 2002 and then became the official representative of Turkey at Miss World 2002. Azra took home the crown and 156,000$ prize money as the winner.


Azra Akin – The first ever Turkish woman to win Miss World


During her Miss World 2002 reign, Azra travelled to the United Kingdom, Turkey, the United States, New Zealand, Ireland, Jamaica, Australia, China as a part of her reigning responsibilities. She advocated for women empowerment and took forward her humanitarian causes as a part of the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ as Miss World 2002.

After her reign, Azra participated in the British reality TV show The Games and won the gold medal. In 2010, she won on the TV dance show Yok Boyle Dans, the Turkish version of Dancing With the Stars. As an actress, Azra was a part of Turkish movies such as PesPese, Ilk Ask, Teberik Sanssiz and Anlat Istanbul.

Being an important part of Miss World even after her reign, Azra was a part of the panel of jury at Mister World 2003, Miss World 2005, Miss World 2013, Miss World 2014, Miss World 2015 and Miss World 2016.


Azra Akin – The first ever Turkish woman to win Miss World


The 52nd edition of Miss World was engulfed in controversy as the finale was supposed to be staged in Abuja, but was relocated to London because of religious riots in the nearby city of Kaduna. Initially 110 contestants were confirmed to compete at Miss World 2002, however, several contestants boycotted and dropped out in protest for the death sentence by stoning determined by an Islamic Sharia court to Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman accused of adultery.