The jury also added a special prize for Tom Di Cillo's colourful foray into the fringes of New York's bohemian life, Delirious.
UK director Michael Radford headed the jury, which also included Iceland's Dagur Kari, LA-based German actor Udo Kier, the head of the Israeli Film Fund, Katriel Schori as well as Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz and stage actress Tilbe Saran.
The International Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award went to The Art of Crying by Danish director Peter Schonau Fog. Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon was voted audience favorite by the Radikal Daily readers, one of the festival's main sponsors. All four winners were personally on hand to receive their awards at the April 14 closing night ceremony.
Also present during the festival for special career awards and master classes were guests including American directors Paul Schrader and Gus van Sant, Korea's Park Chan-Wook and Taiwan's Tsai Ming Liang.
The two reigning princes of contemporary Turkish cinema, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Zeki Demirkubuz, shared again the limelight in the national competition. Ceylan's Climates, first unveiled in Cannes last year, was crowned best Turkish film and got and the People's Choice Award.
Demirkubuz was honored as best director for his somber, obsessive love story Destiny, also picked by the FIPRESCI jury as best film in the Turkish competition, and his actor, Ufuk Bayraktar, shared the best male performance award with Erkan Can, the lead in another Turkish fest favorite Takva - A Man's Fear of God.
Rising young Turkish female star Ozgu Namal, featured in no less than three of the competition films, was chosen best actress for her role in one of them, International, a deceptive folk comedy with a bitter end, whose co-directors Sirri Surreya Onder and Muharrem Gulmez were rewarded with a Special Jury Prize.
In her first year as the director of the festival, Azize Tan showed 237 titles (as compared to 220 last year) with admissions going up to 170,000, a 13.5% rise over 2006.