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. 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 AK Parti.