coup in 2016 made things worse, leading the government to blackout even more websites. In addition, in March of this year, new laws were passed allowing Turkey's media watchdog RTUK to censor even more content. Now, with early elections called, reports are emerging about an increase of censorship and social media blocks in the country.. The government forces Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use keywords to blacklist websites that criticise AKP. The military
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Turkey is the best solution. A VPN unblocks websites and provides privacy to let anybody access blocked sites without fear of being tracked. Using a Turkey VPN, citizens can pretend to be in a different country. This lets them bypass all government censorship and access restricted messengers and social media sites
A reliable VPN also provides encryption so that no one can tell what you're doing online. Freedom and digital privacy: the perfect combination!
Best VPN for Turkey: Price Comparison
- NordVPN - Large brand with very good value, and a budget price
- CyberGhost - Longtime top ranked VPN, with great price and speeds
- PrivateVPN - One of the cheapest VPNs out there, but still a good service
- ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network is an online service that allows you to pretend to be in a foreign country. By connecting to a server outside of Turkey, you can visit any websites you want. The government's censorship becomes powerless, because as soon as the VPN connects, it conceals your real IP address - and replaces it with the IP of the VPN.
No matter why the restriction is happening - whether it be due to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), government, workplace, school, or landlord - you can regain full access with a VPN. In fact, as it allows you to pretend to be in another country, a VPN can even overcome geo-restrictions. This allows you to watch BBC iPlayer, access Netflix US, and watch local sports competitions from around the globe if you so choose.
Note: ProPrivacy.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.
Why Do I Need a VPN?
The political situation in Turkey is very tense. The government goes to great lengths to censor websites that it feels are anti-regime, anti-religion, and/or immoral. For citizens, journalists, political dissenters, and others who wish to access unbiased news, websites, and online services from outside the bubble created by Erdoğan's strict regime, the right Turkish VPN is the perfect solution.
Using a VPN for Turkey to conceal your real IP address (location) - and making use of strong military grade encryption - means that all the data coming and going from your protected devices is inaccessible. As such, a VPN provides unrivaled levels of digital privacy. With that privacy, and the ability to geo-spoof, it is possible to access any website that the Turkish government has blocked without fear of being watched.
Early Turkish elections are about to take place, and reports are emerging from inside Turkey about a surge in censorship. New laws passed in March allow the media watchdog to more easily block national and international website content that criticises Erdoğan's government.
Although the election is expected to be close, it is expected that Erdoğan will win a two-round presidential race. As president, Erdoğan will enjoy more power than ever before.
This makes it highly likely that Turkey will continue to experience increasing levels of surveillance and censorship. For this reason, it is highly important for Turkish citizens to protect themselves with a VPN both before, during, and after the elections have taken place.
A Quick Look at Turkish Laws
In Turkey, the internet is under strict control thanks to a couple of invasive laws: the Electronic Communications Law (ECL) and the Internet Act. The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) and the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication (PTC) enforce that legislation.
In March new laws were passed giving Turkey’s media watchdog RTUK even more power to censor online content without the need for oversight.
Organizations like Human Rights Watch have severely criticized Erdoğan’s iron-fisted control over the nation. Since the failed military coup, surveillance and censorship have both increased drastically. The authorities have imprisoned huge numbers of anti-Erdoğan police, as well as journalists who dare to speak out against the regime's conduct.
For Turkish citizens who disagree with these extreme and restrictive policies - and want to read news that isn’t tainted by propaganda - the internet is a useful tool. However, the Turkish government has gone to great lengths to close down access to material that it deems problematic.
A VPN for Turkey is a perfect solution because of the encryption it provides. This means that you can do whatever you need to do on the internet, without your ISP or government knowing what you're doing.
Since the coup, Turkey has censored many websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. With a VPN for Turkey, if these websites or any others are blocked again in the future, you'll be able to continue accessing them!
What Can I Do with a VPN in Turkey?
Even if you aren’t particularly interested in reading news that is banned in Turkey, there are many things that you can do with a VPN. A VPN for Turkey is your passport to the entire world’s internet. Geo-restrictions are frustrating, no matter where you live. With a VPN, you'll never have to sigh and click back to Google to search again.
The VPNs that we've recommended have huge networks of servers located all over the world. Those networks allow you to connect to whichever country you want in order to access geo-restricted websites.
In addition, because a VPN provides privacy, you can feel free to access pirated material (like TV shows and movies). Some of the VPNs in this list even permit peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting. For more information about using a VPN for torrent sites take a look at our best VPN for torrents guide.
Furthermore, sports fans love VPNs because they can watch geo-restricted competitions from all over the world.
Censorship in Turkey: Which Websites are Blocked?
Turkey tends to restrict access to websites for a short period of time. For example, it has been known to block Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (among many other sites) during times of political upheaval. Furthermore, the government resorts to bandwidth throttling during times of political crisis, such as during protests.
Following last year's military coup, the Turkish government blocked access to many websites. Since then, it has restored access to multiple sites. However, the situation is very fluid and Erdoğan is likely to again block websites during times when his government feels there is a need to do so.
Some permanently blocked sites include YouPorn, Mrstiff, The Pirate Bay, Megaupload, Deezer, Tagged, Slide, and ShoutCast. On occasions, all of Google's websites have been blocked, including: Google Docs, Google Translate, Google Books, Google Analytics, and Google Tools.
Other sites that have been blocked at times include Google Drive, GitHub, Dropbox, and Microsoft’s OneDrive. In fact, according to Engelliweb.com, Erdogan's government has blocked more than 114,000 sites.
With a VPN, you can get around the severe Turkish censorship and regain access to all blocked websites.
Are VPNs Legal?
Using a VPN isn't illegal in Turkey. However, unblocking content and hiding what you're doing from the government could land you in trouble. The problem with the current government is that it verges on being a quasi-dictatorship. The police and the legal system are very much under Erdoğan's thumb. Thus, if the government decides you're a person of interest, it could arrest you - even if you haven't really done anything wrong.
Following the military coup, thousands of citizens (including police officers, government workers, journalists, teachers, and many others) were jailed for supporting the coup. However, it seems that many of those people were never proven guilty. Instead, the government incarcerated them for using private messengers with end-to-end encryption.
As such, the legal use of a VPN in Turkey is a gray area. With that in mind, citizens are advised not only to use highly secure VPNs but also to be careful about where they get those VPNs from. Searching for VPNs from your home IP address might flag you up as a person of interest. Thus it may be worthwhile using public WiFi to get the VPN in the first place, rather than your home's internet connection. This may seem a little paranoid but, in my opinion, it might be worthwhile.
In addition, VPN users should make use of the very best encryption available (OpenVPN) and VPN stealth mode (VPN obfuscation technology) to conceal VPN use and get around VPN blocks.
Turkish ISPs block VPN IP addresses on behalf of the government. This can make using a VPN tough within Turkey. However, the VPNs in our review have thousands of IP addresses. They also add new ones all the time. This means that there will always be IPs available to you. If your VPN isn't working, you may need to use port forwarding or stealth mode to get around the ISP VPN firewall.
Getting Around the VPN Block: Port selection
ISPs can scan traffic for VPN use. If it detects the use of a VPN, the ISP can simply firewall your internet connection until you switch the VPN off. Thankfully, you can use VPN stealth mode or port selection to stop the ISP from detecting the VPN. Port selection of OpenVPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) over port 443 - disguises OpenVPN traffic as regular HTTPS.
HTTPS is the standard internet encryption protocol that is used to keep web browsing traffic (passwords, logins, and so forth) secure. Because nearly all websites and online services use HTTPS, ISPs can't block it. Thus when a VPN disguises OpenVPN as HTTPS, the ISP doesn't know a VPN is in use. That means you can evade being firewalled.
Another method for evading ISP VPN firewalling is to use a VPN with selection "stealth mode." Stealth mode (also known as obfuscation technology) disguises VPN traffic so that ISPs can't detect it. Thus they can't block your VPN. Common forms of stealth mode include Stunnel and Obfsproxy. Some VPNs also have proprietary stealth technology that works successfully.
Due to the political situation in Turkey, it's worth using VPN obfuscation technology even if your VPN isn't being blocked. Doing so will stop your ISP from flagging you up as a VPN user (and therefore a person of interest).
Choosing a VPN for Turkey
A VPN for Turkey needs to be extremely trustworthy. Many VPNs have poor privacy policies that allow them to store data about you. The problem with this is that if a government asks the VPN to hand over data it has the ability to comply with an investigation.
The VPNs in this guide keep no usage logs, and no connection logs that could be used to ascertain what you did online. This means that even if a government agency asks for records about what you've done online, the VPN has none to hand over.
A good VPN also needs plenty of server locations. The more server locations a VPN has, the more places you can pretend to be in. This gives you a lot more freedom and choice.
As a general rule, we don't recommend free VPN services. This is mostly because the service they offer often isn't robust enough for streaming, downloading and other data-intensive tasks and some service providers sell your data to the highest bidder. However, if you are sure you want to take a free VPN for a trial run, check out our free VPN page, where all the providers have been vetted and can be trusted.
Get a Turkish IP Address
Many people also want to use a VPN's privacy when they access Turkish websites. For people who want a Turkish IP address, the VPNs in this guide all have servers within Turkey. Connecting to a Turkish VPN server conceals your real IP address (location) but allows you to continue using the internet as if you were in Turkey. This stops your ISP and the government from seeing your web browsing traffic.
Servers and Connection Speeds
A good VPN for Turkey needs to have plenty of servers around the globe. Many people use VPNs to pretend to be in a different country. This allows them to bypass local censorship. All the VPNs in this article have world-class networks of VPN servers located around the world. Those servers perform at optimum levels. This means that they are lightning fast and will permit users to do data-intensive tasks like streaming in HD. This is important because many VPNs are extremely slow, meaning they aren't much fun to use and result in constant buffering when you try to watch streaming video.
In this article, you'll find the fastest VPN for Turkey, and a number of other VPNs that come close! So if the fastest VPN is what you need, these VPNs are ideal!
Setting up a Turkey VPN
Setting up a VPN for Turkey is not particularly difficult. To do so, follow these simple steps:
- Select one of the Turkey VPNs from this guide. For use in Turkey, we recommend ExpressVPN because it has everything you need from a top-of-the-range VPN. Privacy and encryption are superb, and the VPN has super-fast servers all over the world.
- Navigate to your favorite VPN by clicking on the link. Subscribing for a longer period will lower the cost of the VPN subscription, so be sure to make use of the discount if you intend to use your VPN all year.
- Download and install the VPN software. VPN software (known as a VPN client) is available for multiple platforms, so make sure you get the right one for your device(s). ExpressVPN permits three simultaneous connections, so you can use the VPN on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
- Now that the VPN is installed, should select the features you need. In Turkey, we recommend OpenVPN encryption, the kill switch, auto-connect, NAT firewall, leak protection, and stealth mode. These features will make sure your VPN is performing at optimum privacy levels.
- Select a server from the list and click Connect.
- As soon as your VPN connects, its encryption protocol secures your data. In addition, your true IP address is concealed and you appear to be in the remote location that you selected.
- Enjoy unrestricted access to the internet in complete privacy thanks to your new VPN!
With your VPN connection, you can feel free to stream, do P2P torrenting, or unblock any content you wish - because the VPN gives you unrivaled digital privacy.
Test your VPN
Here at ProPrivacy.com, our team of experts regularly tests and reviews VPN services. Therefore, the best way to check on a VPN's speed and performance is to read our review of that service. We pride ourselves on providing up-to-date and unbiased information about all VPNs, so that you can get the right information to make decisions.
ProPrivacy.com has the world's most advanced VPN speed testing infrastructure and methodology. This allows us to provide accurate information about VPN connection speeds - something that none of our competitors can do.
In addition to this, we understand that you may want to test your VPN yourself. To do so, simply head over to ipleak.net to check for leaks. The VPNs in this article have been selected for use in Turkey because they are excellent for privacy, so you'll definitely not detect any leaks.
Remember to select a test server close to you and to check your internet speed with and without the VPN connected so that you can compare the two. Please remember, however, that online speed tests are not foolproof. They won't give you accurate results like our purposefully set up test servers. To look at the latest speed test results for the fastest VPN services, please check out that article.
Getting the Most from Your VPN
The VPN providers in this guide are all at the very top of the VPN industry. They provide the very best levels of performance and speed. However, there are still things that you can do to ensure your VPN is running at optimum levels. For privacy, you should follow the instructions in the setup guide further up in this article. Selecting OpenVPN, the kill switch, leak protection and stealth mode/port forwarding (TCP over port 443) will all help you to stay private.
For the best speeds, it is recommended that you connect to a server that is closer to you. However, I would recommend connecting to a Turkish VPN server or a server outside of Turkey most of the time. For this reason, select a server that is close to you but in a neighboring European nation that is good for privacy (such as Switzerland or the Netherlands). Only use a VPN server in Turkey if you specifically need to to use Turkish geo-restricted services, as this will lower your chances of a VPN server being targeted by the government.
Having said that - you really don't have anything to worry about, because the VPN providers in this guide don't keep any logs. As such, even if the Turkish government does target a VPN service, it won't have any data available to collect. The above is just an extra precaution.
Best VPN Protocols
Some VPN protocols (tunneling protocols) provide better security and privacy than others. They also provide different connection speeds. At ProPrivacy.com, we recommend using OpenVPN encryption because it is the most secure. However, here is a list of what is available, so that you can choose between tunneling protocols if you wish:
- PPTP. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is the least secure VPN protocol. We recommend avoiding it. PPTP can be hacked and is therefore vulnerable to government intelligence agencies. However, because it is weak it's very fast.
- L2TP/IPsec. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security is more secure than PPTP, but a little slower. It is secure enough to use for privacy reasons - but not as strong as OpenVPN. iOS devices often use L2TP/IPsec because it's natively compatible with iPads and iPhones.
- SSTP. Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is another form of secure encryption that provides pretty good speeds. It's not as good as OpenVPN, but can certainly be considered good for privacy.
- IKEv2. Internet Key Exchange version 2 is another encryption protocol that is relatively fast and secure.
- OpenVPN. This is the very best VPN encryption on the market - if it is implemented correctly. All of the VPNs in this guide implement it superbly. OpenVPN encryption comes in two forms: OpenVPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and OpenVPN User Datagram Protocol (UDP). TCP is slightly better for privacy, but for streaming privately we recommend OpenVPN UDP because it's faster.
For a full rundown of VPN encryption please check out our beginners' guide.
Proxies Vs. VPNs
You can use a proxy website or a browser extension proxy to overcome censorship in Turkey. However, while a proxy will unblock websites, it won't give you the high levels of privacy that a VPN service will. If unblocking content with a browser extension is what you want, then a number of VPNs do provide browser proxies as part of their service. However, we strongly recommend sticking to VPN software that uses OpenVPN to encrypt your traffic - that's the only way to get the highest levels of digital privacy.
VPN for Mobile
If you're looking for a Turkey VPN for Android tablet or smartphone, or a VPN for iPhone (iPad or iPhone), then the VPNs in this guide are perfect. All of the VPNs for Turkey that we've recommended have VPN software for mobile devices. To install the mobile VPN client, simply download the file from the VPN's download page. The app will work just like any other app on your mobile device. To launch it, select whichever security settings you want to use and connect to a server.
Remember to use your VPN whenever you use a public WiFi hotspot. The VPN will protect your data from cybercriminals and hackers using the same WiFi. The VPN's encryption will stop hackers from being able to steal your logins, passwords, and credit card details.
In the run-up to the elections, Turkey is blocking more websites than ever before. There is also expected to be social media blackouts. For people who want privacy online, and want to be ready for the next time Turkey's restrictive government blocks websites, a trustworthy and established VPN is perfect.
The VPNs in this article are safe to use and will allow you to securely unblock any websites you want. In addition, all of our recommended VPNs for Turkey have strong encryption and will keep you secure while on public WiFi.
With everything you need to know clearly laid out in this article, you're in a strong position to select a VPN for Turkey. All of the VPNs in this list are highly trustworthy, but all differ ever so slightly, so please be sure to look at the options carefully. Doing so will allow you to subscribe to the perfect VPN for you.