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Azra Akın

Azra AkınAzra Akın, born on the 8th of December, 1981 in Almelo, Netherlands is a Turkish-Dutch actress, dancer, model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss World 2002 in London.

Akın's parents are Turkish - her father Nazım, and mother Ayda, emigrated from Turkey to the Netherlands in 1971. Akın has one younger sister named Doruk.

She completed her primary and secondary education in the Waldorf schools in Holland.

In 1998, at the age of 17, Akın was selected Elite Model of Turkey; she then participated in the Europe Elite Model competition in Nice, France, where she reached the final 15.

She then continued to model in Germany for the German catalogue Otto.

In 2002, Azra won Star TV's Miss Turkey. Thus, she represented Turkey in the Miss World beauty pageant which was held on December 7th, 2002 at Alexandra Palace in London, which she also won.

She brought that title to Turkey for only the second time since Keriman Halis won the title in 1932.

Azra AkınAkin accepted the tiara and $156,000 cash prize from the previous year's winner Agbani Darego.

During her reign, Akın travelled to the United Kingdom, Turkey, the United States, New Zealand, Ireland, Jamaica, Australia, China and several other countries.

"I hope I will represent the women of the world in a good way," said Akin after being crowned Miss World.

"I think it is good for a woman to have this position, and I hope I can make a difference."

Miss World contestant Azra Akin was crowned Miss World 2002 in London on December 7th, 2002. Akin beat Miss Columbia Natalia Peralta and Miss Peru Marina Mora Montero who came second and third respectively.

With a gorgeous smile and a exquisite bow, Miss Turkey aced the Miss World contest, bringing to a close an international pageant that had incited deadly rioting in Nigeria.

Ninety-two contestants had finally taken part in the show, which was transferred to London after Muslim-Christian rioting had killed more than 200 people, forcing the pageant out of Nigeria.

Azra AkınThe organisers of the pageant defended the decision to continue with the event despite the riots in Nigeria which left 220 people dead.

Six entrants boycotted the competition and the assets of Miss World Holdings had been frozen by the High Court.

It was meant to have been held in Nigeria until an article in a local newspaper sparked religious outrage.

A journalist writing in the Lagos-based This Day newspaper said that the Prophet Mohammed might have approved of the contest - and even chosen to marry one of the contestants.

In the wake of the violence the 90 contestants were flown to London as organisers hunted for an alternative venue which had been quickly arranged in London.

Much of the controversy started even before the riots when a group of contestants, led by Miss Denmark, announced they were boycotting the competition over Nigeria's decision to condemn a woman to death by stoning for committing adultery.

The pageant organisers claim more than a billion people watched the show on television - but potential British viewers missed out as none of the country's television channels had agreed to broadcast it.

Azra AkınIn 2003, Azra won a gold medal when she participated in the British reality TV show The Games.

Games is a celebrity reality format where ten celebrities spend six weeks training in six different sporting disciplines which are then put to the test live every night for a week.

The men and women compete in a different sport every night and the live nightly show is when the final of an event is held. (the qualifying heats, if any, are usually shown live in the afternoons on E4).

Contestants score five points for winning an event, three for second, two for third, one for fourth and zero for coming last with a bonus point if they beat their personal best on the night.

Later series awarded five, four, three, two and zero respectively, plus that oh-so-crucial potential bonus point, to shift the emphasis from winning to not losing.

The money raised from ticket sales, viewer polls and telephone competitions went into a big pot from which the celebrities take a cut for their charities in proportion to the amount of points scored during the week.

A wide variety of events are seen - from swimming, judo, speed skating for the women to diving, weightlifting, the horse and curling for the men.

She competed with Teri Dwyer (ex-Hollyoaks actress), Mel C (Spice Girls singer), Gail Porter (tv presenter) and Josie d'Arby (tv presenter).

Azra AkınThe final day featured the track and field events from the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield and the crowning of the champions.

The athletes spent the week living in the "athlete's village" at the Don Valley Stadium, and this being a reality show, a reasonable amount of time is given over to gossip from the night previous.

In 2004, Akın modelled for the postcards of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 which were shown before each song.

In 2010, she won on the TV dance show Yok Boyle Dans, the Turkish version of Dancing With the Stars.

In 2004 she was the face of Turkey International Tourism Campaign. that same year, she started her acting career with the TV Series Yagmur Zamani and continued with Oyun Bitti, Ruzgar Ayrilik, Genis Aile, M.U.C.K.

She has started her film career in 2005 with the movie Anlat Istanbul and continues with guest starring in Ilk Ask, Pespese, and Cilek which was in theaters in 2014. She also took place in the theatre play called 72. Kogus.

In 2011 she won the competition called Dancing With The Stars, held for the first time in Turkey. Next year she was awarded being a jury member in the new episodes of the same competition.

She has been the face of many Turkish and International brands such as Avon, Pepsi, Pantene, Avea, Arcelik and the TVC's have shown for a long time in Turkey and in many other countries in which she is well known.

Azra AkınBesides her charity work which she did for the year when she traveled around around the world when she won the Miss World title, in 2012 she was elected to be the face and voice of UNFPA - Turkish Office On Violence Against Women.

Azra plays the flute and declared that her passions are ballet and belly dancing.

She starred in the Dutch film Heer & Meester in 2017 and now shares the same scene as Haldun Dormen in What's up.

Since 2012, she has been a spokesperson for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

And in Turkey she was the face of their international tourism campaign in 2004.

Until today, Pepsi has appeared in advertising campaigns for brands such as L'oreal Paris, Avon, Pantene and Arçelik.

She can speak Turkish, English, Dutch and German fluently.

Atakan Koru and Azra Akin have been married for 9 months since 24th Aug 2017.

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Year Film Role Notes
2010 PesPese Pelin
2006 İlk Aşk Bahar
2005 Teberik Şanssız Fulya
2004 Anlat İstanbul Pamuk Prenses


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Miss World 2016 Judge TV series
2015 Miss World 2015 Judge TV series
2014 Miss World 2014 Judge TV series
2013 Miss World 2013 Judge TV series
2012 Muck Elif TV series
2009 Ayrılık Firengiz Babayev TV series
2009 Ah Kalbim Herself TV series
2008 Rüzgar Leyla TV series
2005 Miss World 2005 Judge TV series
2005 Barend en Van Dorp Herself TV series
2004 Nationaal songfestival Herself TV series
2004 Yağmur Zamanı Eylül TV series
2003 The Games Herself TV series
2003 Mister World 2003 Judge TV series


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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures – such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard (which walks on water, too) – that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution hasn’t made it an option for humans – yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It’s a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What’s more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US, Arabic (Arab Scientific), Japan (East Press)

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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