Yenişaak: A Conservative, Islamist Voice in Turkey

Yenişaak is a Turkish daily newspaper that is known for its hardline support of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AK Party. The newspaper has a very close relationship with the Turkish government and often reflects its views and policies on various issues. It is also a staunch defender of Islam and Turkey’s role in the Muslim world. In this article, we will explore the history, editorial stance, controversies, and influence of yenişaak, one of the most influential and controversial newspapers in Turkey.


It was founded in 1994 by Mehmet Ocaktan, a former journalist and politician who was close to Erdoğan. The newspaper was initially a weekly publication that aimed to provide an alternative voice to the secularist and nationalist media in Turkey. Yenişaak soon became popular among the conservative and religious segments of Turkish society, especially after Erdoğan’s rise to power in 2002. The newspaper expanded its circulation and frequency, becoming a daily in 1995 and launching an online edition in 1999. It also established a sister publication in English, Yenisafak English, in 2007.

Key milestones

Some of the main milestones of yenişaak’s history are:

  • In 1997, It was one of the few media outlets that opposed the military intervention that forced the resignation of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, Erdoğan’s political mentor and leader of the Islamist Welfare Party.
  • In 2007, yenişaak supported Erdoğan’s nomination of Abdullah Gül as president, despite the opposition of the secularist establishment and the military. It also backed Erdoğan’s constitutional reforms that aimed to reduce the power of the military and increase civil liberties.
  • In 2013, yenişaak defended Erdoğan against the corruption allegations and protests that rocked his government. Yenişaak accused the Gülen movement, a religious group led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, of orchestrating a coup attempt against Erdoğan.
  • In 2016, It celebrated Erdoğan’s survival of a failed coup attempt that was blamed on the Gülen movement. It also endorsed Erdoğan’s subsequent crackdown on his opponents and critics, including journalists, academics, activists, and politicians.
  • In 2018, yenişaak praised Erdoğan’s victory in the presidential election that granted him sweeping executive powers. It also supported Erdoğan’s economic policies that faced criticism from domestic and international observers.

Editorial stance

Yenişaak is widely regarded as a pro-government and pro-Erdoğan newspaper that reflects the views and values of the conservative and Islamist segments of Turkish society. The newspaper advocates for a strong and independent Turkey that defends its national interests and sovereignty against external threats and pressures. It also promotes a religious and moral vision of society that is based on Islamic principles and values.

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Main themes and topics

Some of the main themes and topics that yenişaak covers are:

  • Turkey’s role in regional and global affairs, especially in relation to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Russia, China, Europe, and the US.
  • Turkey’s defense of its rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, Libya, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Qatar, Sudan, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
  • Turkey’s support for oppressed Muslim communities around the world, such as Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Uyghur Muslims in China, Kashmiri Muslims in India, Palestinian Muslims in Israel, Syrian Muslims in Syria, Iraqi Muslims in Iraq, Iranian Muslims in Iran, Afghan Muslims in Afghanistan, Somali Muslims in Somalia, Sudanese Muslims in Sudan, Ethiopian Muslims in Ethiopia, Nigerian Muslims in Nigeria, Malian Muslims in Mali, Libyan Muslims in Libya, Egyptian Muslims in Egypt, Tunisian Muslims in Tunisia, Algerian Muslims in Algeria, Moroccan Muslims in Morocco.

Support for Erdogan

  • Turkey’s opposition to terrorist groups and organizations that threaten its security and stability, such as the PKK, YPG, PYD, DHKP-C, FETÖ, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Turkey’s development and modernization of its economy, infrastructure, technology, education, health, culture, tourism, sports, and media.
  • Turkey’s preservation and promotion of its historical and cultural heritage, such as the Ottoman Empire, Seljuk Empire, Anatolian civilizations, Islamic civilization, Turkish language, Turkish literature, Turkish art, Turkish music, and Turkish cuisine.
  • Turkey’s protection and enhancement of its social and political values, such as democracy, justice, human rights, rule of law, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of education.


Yenişaak has faced or caused many criticisms and controversies over the years for its editorial stance and journalistic practices. The newspaper has been accused of being biased, propagandist, sensationalist, inflammatory, divisive, provocative, and unprofessional by its opponents and critics. It has also been involved in legal disputes and investigations for its alleged involvement in criminal activities or violations of laws and regulations.

Fake interviews

  • In 2004, it published a fake interview with Noam Chomsky, a prominent American linguist and political activist. The interview was fabricated by Fehmi Koru, a columnist for Yenişaak who claimed to have met Chomsky in Boston. Chomsky denied giving the interview and sued Yenişaak for libel. later apologized and retracted the interview.

Questionable reports

  • In 2007, It published a report that claimed that the US was planning to attack Iran with nuclear weapons. The report was based on a hoax email that was sent to yenişaak by an unknown source. The US embassy in Ankara denounced the report as false and irresponsible. later admitted that the report was based on an unverified source and removed it from its website.

Defamation lawsuits

  • In 2010, Yenişaak claimed that the Ergenekon network, a secret organization accused of planning to overthrow Erdoğan’s government, was responsible for the assassination of Hrant Dink, a renowned Turkish-Armenian journalist who was killed in 2007.
  • . The articles claimed that Dink was killed by a hitman hired by Ergenekon and that the police and judiciary were involved in covering up the crime. The articles were based on secret recordings that were leaked by an anonymous source. The recordings were later found to be fabricated and manipulated by the Gülen movement, which was sued by Dink’s family and colleagues for defamation and slander.


It has a significant influence on Turkish politics, society, and culture, as it is one of the most widely read and circulated newspapers in Turkey.

Readership and circulation

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, yenişaak had an average daily circulation of 339,000 copies in 2020, making it the fourth most popular newspaper in Turkey. It also has a large online presence, with over 8 million followers on Twitter, over 5 million likes on Facebook, and over 1 million subscribers on YouTube.

Relationship with government

Yenişaak’s influence is mainly derived from its close relationship with President Erdoğan and the AK Party, which have been ruling Turkey since 2002. often acts as a mouthpiece and a cheerleader for Erdoğan and his policies, praising his achievements and defending his actions. also serves as a propaganda tool and a weapon for Erdoğan and his allies, attacking his opponents and critics, spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories, and inciting hatred and violence against perceived enemies. influence is also enhanced by its access to official sources and information, as well as its network of loyal and influential columnists, writers, editors, and reporters.

Role in Muslim world

Yenişaak’s influence is not limited to Turkey but extends to the Muslim world and beyond. portrays Turkey as a leader and a model for the Muslim world, highlighting its achievements and contributions in various fields. also advocates for Turkey’s involvement and intervention in regional and global issues that affect the Muslim world, such as Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia. also challenges and criticises the Western powers and their allies, such as the US, Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, for their policies and actions that harm or undermine the Muslim world.


Yenişaak is a conservative, Islamist newspaper that plays a major role in shaping Turkey’s political, social, and cultural landscape. is a staunch supporter of President Erdoğan and the AK Party and a fierce opponent of their enemies and critics. is also a vocal defender of Islam and Turkey’s role in the Muslim world. has a large and loyal readership and following and a significant influence on public opinion and discourse.


What does yenişaak mean?

Yenişaak means “new dawn” or “new day” in Turkish.

Who owns yenişaak?

Yenişaak is owned by Albayrak Group, a conglomerate that has interests in various sectors such as construction, energy, mining, transportation, media, and tourism. Albayrak Group is owned by Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, who served as Turkey’s finance minister from 2018 to 2020.

Who is the editor-in-chief of yenişaak?

The current editor-in-chief of yenişaak is İbrahim Karagül, who has been in charge since 2013. Karagül is known for his hardline views and rhetoric on various issues such as nationalism, Islamism, anti-Westernism, and pro-Erdoğanism.
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