Yeni Şafak

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File:Yeni Şafak (Logo).jpg
Yeni Şafak (Logo)
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. It, together with other media organizations in Turkey, has been accused of using hate speech to target minorities and opposition groups.

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


Yeni Şafak's founding editor was Mehmet Ocaktan. In the beginning, Yeni Şafak was known for harboring both libreal 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. 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.


Fabricated Noam Chomsky interview

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". 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. 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.

Disinformation during Gezi Protests

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

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. 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. Later, the imam (who is a state employee of the mosque) was transferred to a different city.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. After the article became a source of mocking nationwide, Yeni Şafak removed the article from their web site.

Other disinformation incidents

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 ÖcalanBritish 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. 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.


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

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

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".


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

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


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

Attacks on journalists

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". Cem Küçükcompared those journalists to Julian Assange, whom he identified as a "So called journalist who published disgusting articles."

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 be impossible for Aydın Doğan to carry out some planned construction projects. He added "Aydın Doğan's future is in his own hands now."