Yeni Şafak

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Yeni Şafak
Type Daily newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner(s) Albayrak Holding
Editor-in-chief İbrahim Karagül
Founded 1994
Political alignment Islamist, Conservative
Language Turkish
Headquarters Yeni Doğan Mah. Kızılay Sok. No: 39 Bayrampaşa
City İstanbul
Country Turkey
Circulation 112.102 (November 2014)[1]
Website ‹See Tfd›

Yeni Şafak ("New Dawn") is a conservative Turkish daily newspaper. The newspaper is known for its hardline support of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP.[2] It, together with other media organizations in Turkey, has been accused of using hate speech to target minorities and opposition groups.[3][4][5]

Yeni Şafak made international headlines when it was discovered that the newspaper had fabricated an interview with Noam Chomsky.[6]


Yeni Şafak's founding editor was Mehmet Ocaktan. In the beginning, Yeni Şafak was known for harboring both liberal and Islamist columnists. Yeni Şafak was acquired by Albayrak Holding in 1997, which had close ties with then mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After İbrahim Karagül became the editor-in-chief of Yeni Şafak, the newspaper became a hardline supporter of then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[2] More Islamist columnists were employed, while liberals like Kürşat Bumin were fired from the newspaper because of their critical views of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP.[7]


Fabricated Noam Chomsky interview[edit]

On August 26, Noam Chomsky accused the pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper of fabricating parts of an interview that was done with him via email, including inventing questions and answers and altering criticism of Erdoğan's approach to Egypt and Syria into an assertion that Turkey "stood with the oppressed people in Syria and Egypt".[8] The administration of Yeni Şafak denied the accusation and promised to release the original English content of the emails. However, the released original was full of grammatical mistakes. Later it was found out that Yeni Şafak used Google Translate to translate fabricated Turkish content into English, and presented the translation as the original interview.[9] After the grammatical errors, particularly "milk port", became a sensation on social media, Yeni Şafak finally admitted some parts were fabricated and removed the entire interview from its web site.[10][11]

Disinformation during Gezi Protests[edit]

Yeni Şafak was one of seven pro-AKP newspapers published with identical headlines on 7 June 2013, during the 2013 protests in Turkey

Yeni Şafak newspaper was a primary source of disinformation during 2013–14 protests in Turkey. According to a report published by Hrant Dink Foundation, Yeni Şafak was the primary newspaper generating hate speech against Gezi protestors.[5]

On June 4 Yeni Şafak claimed that protestors who took refuge in Dolmabahçe Mosque during police attempts to quell civil unrest had consumed alcohol inside the mosque.[12] PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that they would release security camera footage of proving this had occurred. However, the imam of Dolmabahçe Mosque denied the paper's allegations and no footage was released to the public.[13] Later, the imam (who is a state employee of the mosque) was transferred to a different city.[14]

The paper also claimed a headscarved woman was by attacked by a gang of shirtless protestors near Dolmabahce Mosque at a tram station on June 1, 2013. On February 14, 2014, several months after the end of the protests, security camera footage showed that there had been no attack on a woman wearing a headscarf by protesters on that date. The woman and Prime Minister Erdoğan had claimed in press conferences and political rallies that protesters had attacked her and her baby.[15][16]

Yeni Şafak also claimed that Gezi protestors were planning to burn the streets on the holy Islamic day of Isra and Mi'raj.[17] On the same day, Yeni Şafak published a list of Turkish advertising agencies it claimed had organized the protests.[18]

On June 6, Yeni Şafak claimed that the Zello mobile app, which was used by protestors to communicate during the protests, was delivered to them by a source in Houston and that protestors were taking orders from that source.[19]

On June 10, Yeni Şafak claimed that a theatre play called "Mi Minor", allegedly supported by an agency in the United Kingdom, had held rehearsals for a "revolution" in Turkey for months.[20]

On June 24, during one of the public forums in Istanbul which was televised live on Halk TV, a protestor said that maybe they should wear police uniforms to protest police brutality. Pro-AKP media sources such as Yeni Şafak claimed that Halk TV was planning a provocation by telling protestors to wear police uniforms and make false-flag attacks.[21]

On July 14 Yeni Şafak published an article, called "The Horrible Istanbul Plan of the Gezi Protestors", on their website that claimed that Gezi protestors were conspiring to undermine the government by wasting water from the reservoirs supplying Istanbul.[22] After the article became a source of mocking nationwide, Yeni Şafak removed the article from their web site.

Other disinformation incidents[edit]

On January 15, 2016, Yeni Şafak published a video purportedly showing live audience members of the prime-time Beyaz Show talk show chanting slogans in support of outlawed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. British investigative news agency D8 News published a forensic analysis demonstrating that the audio track was modified before publication, adding voices sampled from an unrelated protest.[23] The article also presented evidence that Yeni Şafak editors likely attempted to cover up their claims rather than issuing a formal retraction. The falsification incident was subsequently corroborated and covered by other news outlets in Turkey.[24]


On July 11, 2014, Yeni Şafak columnist İbrahim Sancak resorted to hate speech against Jews.[25]

On July 11, 2014, Yeni Şafak columnist Yusuf Kaplan resorted to hate speech against Jews.[26]

On July 23 and 30 2014, Yeni Şafak columnist İbrahim Tenekeci resorted to hate speech against Jews and identified them as "eternal pain of humanity".[27][28]


On June 6, 2012, Yeni Şafak columnist A. Fuat Erdoğan identified homosexuality as perversion.[29]

On May 13, 2013, Yeni Şafak columnist Yusuf Kaplan identified sexual identities other than heterosexuality as perversion.[30]


On June 6, 2012, Yeni Şafak columnist A. Fuat Erdoğan resorted to hate speech against pro-abortion women.[29]

Attacks on journalists[edit]

On October 12, 2014, Yeni Şafak columnist Cem Küçük threatened journalists Ahmet Hakan and Fatih Altaylı saying "They will pay a heavy price for treason".[31] Cem Küçük compared those journalists to Julian Assange, whom he identified as a "So called journalist who published disgusting articles."[32]

On November 11, 2014, Yeni Şafak columnist Cem Küçük threatened Doğan Media Group CEO Aydın Doğan. He said if Aydın Doğan does not fire journalists like Ahmet Hakan, it will not be possible for Aydın Doğan to carry out some planned construction projects. He added "Aydın Doğan's future is in his own hands now."[33]



  1. ^ "Tiraj - MedyaTava - Yazmadıysa Doğru Değildir". 2 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Is Davutoglu facing a 'mission impossible'?". Al Monitor. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Study reveals increasing hate speech in Turkish press". Al Monitor. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Hate speech on the rise in Turkish media". BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Nefret Söylemi Raporu: Yeni Şafak 'Gezi'den Düşman Yaratmada Birinci". Hrant Dink Foundation. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Hurriyet Daily News, 2 September 2013, Turkish daily apologizes for fabricated Chomsky interview
  7. ^ "AKP and the liberals". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Chomsky accuses Turkish daily of fabricating parts of interview - LOCAL". Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  9. ^ The Wall Street Journal  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Turkish daily admits to making up parts of Chomsky interview, releases alleged text - LOCAL". Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Turkish daily apologizes for fabricated Chomsky interview - LOCAL". Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Sığındıkları camide içki içtiler!". Yeni Şafak. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  13. ^ "PM Erdoğan repeats previously denied reports of protesters entering mosque with shoes on". Hürriyet Daily News. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  14. ^ Yasemin Çongar (2013-09-23). "Turkish Muezzin Who Couldn't Lie Is Exiled". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  15. ^ "Released footage shows no physical attack on headscarf-wearing woman during Gezi protests". Turkish Weekly. 14 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Video casts doubt over alleged attack on headscarved woman". The Daily Star. 14 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mirac gecesinde sokakları karıştırma planı". Yeni Şafak. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  18. ^ Piri Medya (3 June 2013). "Ajanslar eyleme sponsor". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Piri Medya (5 June 2013). "Houston'dan ölüm emri". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Turkish actor threatened over his Gezi Park support - LOCAL". Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  21. ^ Piri Medya (24 June 2013). "Polis değilsen kıyafet alamazsın". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Pro-gov't media: Gezi protesters conspiring to use up İstanbul's water". TodaysZaman. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "Yeni Şafak Coverup Following Doctored Beyaz Show Video: A Technical Analysis". D8 News. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Montaj yapıp "Beyaz Show'da Öcalan sloganı!" başlığı yayınladılar" [Falsified and broadcast with the headline "Öcalan slogans on Beyaz Show!"] (in Turkish). D8 News. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Yeni çağın ilk büyük imtihanı". 
  26. ^ "Frankenstein ruhlu adamlar, Tanrı'yı kıyamete zorluyorlar". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "Bir iman meselesi". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "İnsanlar ve Yahudiler". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  29. ^ a b "Kürtah yasağı özgürlük kısıtlaması mıdır?". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  30. ^ "Üçüncü cinsel Devrim: Geliyorum diyen felaket". 
  31. ^ "Cem Küçük'ten Ahmet Hakan ve Fatih Altaylı'ya tehdit: Julian Assange'lar bedel ödeyecek!". Diken. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Türk medyasının Julian Assange"ları ağır bedel ödeyecekler!". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "İşi bitik bir kukla ve tetikçi portresi". Yeni Şafak. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 

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