Internet freedom in Turkey is on a constant downward curve with rising instances of censorship on social media and even arrests for bloggers/reporters expressing criticism of the country.
Although Turkey is not a member of the 14 Eyes, it does enforce data retention laws on public-use ISPs in the country who must maintain IP address logs of users for a period of 1 year. These problems make it important for Turkish people to use a VPN.
ExpressVPN is the #1 recommendation as to the best Turkey VPN. It offers an excellent no-logs policy and safe jurisdiction, which allows the user to avert Turkish surveillance and data retention.
Short on time? Here’s a summary of the best VPNs for Turkey
6 Best VPNs for Turkey
The following VPN services are good for Turkey for countering the issue of censorship and wanting online privacy in the country:
ExpressVPN is another VPN based in the British Virgin Islands. It is one of the most renowned log-free VPN in the industry, so privacy-seeking users in Turkey can instantly elevate their privacy online with this service.
The provider has an extensive network of 3,000+ servers available in 94 countries, including Turkey. ExpressVPN is one of the safest VPNs for torrenting and unblocking streaming services. Although Turkey has lenient laws for online piracy and torrents, it is still better to be safe than sorry and keep your identity anonymous while downloading torrents.
It is also one of the best services for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and the BBC iPlayer, which are unavailable in Turkey.
If you’re an ex-pat that loves watching Turkish shows, you can connect to ExpressVPN’s Turkey server to access shows like TRT Haber, TRT Spor, TBMM TV, TRT 3, and EBA TV İlkokul on all popular operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
With these features combined with a reliable logging policy, ExpressVPN offers a great balance between speed, privacy, unblocking power for Turkey’s users at the cost of $6.67/mo . All ExpressVPN’s packages offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and 5 simultaneous connections. This is what makes ExpressVPN one of the favorites among reviewers.
- 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
- 5 simultaneous connections
- DNS feature – MediaStream
- Military-grade encryption
- A bit costly than most providers
Surfshark is also based in the British Virgin Islands, where no data logging regulations are enforced. As a result, you can count on this VPN to keep your privacy intact from the invasive surveillance of Turkish authorities. Having impressive speeds, it is the fastest VPN service in the industry.
In the 3,200+ server network of Surfshark, which covers 65 countries, including Turkey as well. For this reason, Surfshark is more reliable as a VPN for Turkish users that want to connect to offshore locations as a means to hide their IP addresses and obtain better privacy.
At the same time, you can utilize the US servers of Surfshark to unblock Netflix, Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and YouTube TV US, which are unavailable in Turkey. Surfshark also works with Turkish streaming services such as EBA TV Ortaokul, TRT Arabi, TRT Belgesel, PuhuTV, and BluTV. You can access these services by connecting to Surfshark’s Turkey server.
The provider also delivers extra features, including WhiteLister, CleanWeb, and MultiHop, to further boost your online privacy and stay protected from data harvesters and Turkish agencies snooping around for your data. This is one reason why Surfshark has a good reputation with many enthusiastic reviews for its service. The service is also compatible with all the major platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Android TV, and iOS.
With unlimited simultaneous connections coupled with all the features mentioned above at the meager cost of $2.49/mo , Surfshark is a great choice for the average Turkish user seeking better online privacy.
- 3,200+ servers in 65 countries
- unlimited simultaneous connections
- Clean Web and MultiHop
- It offers a moderately-sized server network
- Limited P2P Servers
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service, which is another country with highly privacy-focused laws. For Turkish users, this is just as well. However, the best aspect of NordVPN if you’re a user in Turkey is its large network of 5,400+ servers in 59 countries, and 18 of these are located within Turkey.
Since a VPN’s speed is directly associated with the proximity of your actual location to the remote VPN server you are connected to, NordVPN’s Turkish servers will enable fast connection speeds for you at all times while keeping your real identity hidden.
What’s more, these servers are also precious if you are a Turkish ex-pat or traveling away from the country for a while. Just connect to a server in Turkey, and you will be able to access all geo-restricted websites such as Cine5, Kanal D, Uçankuş TV, Kanal 7, Beyaz TV, etc., that are blocked outside of Turkey.
To top it off, NordVPN offers privacy-enhancing features like Onion over VPN, Double VPN, and CyberSec, which solidify your privacy even further. Agencies in Turkey will have a real hard time uncovering your real identity if you use NordVPN to surf the web. Like any other best VPN in the US, it also supports popular platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Firestick, and Android TVs. No wonder enjoys positive NordVPN reviews.
At the price of $3.71/mo , 6 simultaneous connections, and a 30-day refund window, NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for Turkey.
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Server strength of 5,400+ in 59 countries
- User-interactive server selection tool
- Double VPN, CyberSec, and Onion over VPN
- Torrenting supported on specific servers
- Slow server connection
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. There are no data retention laws in that country, making it excellent for those in Turkey who want to avoid having their data logged by ISPs, putting their privacy at risk of non-consensual exposure.
The provider has a network of 6,500+ servers that cover 140+ countries (6 of these are in Istanbul, Turkey) on the whole. If you connect to one of these offshore servers, you can easily access censored content such as BBC iPlayer, Sony Liv, Hotstar, UK TV, NHK, CCTV within Turkey that may not be accessible otherwise.
If you’re traveling away from Turkey and need to keep up with your favorite channels that are only available within Turkish borders, you can connect to one of the 6 Turkey servers available in PureVPN’s network to access websites such as NTV, CNN Türk, Habertürk TV, A Haber, and TVNET.
Also, PureVPN offers Split-Tunneling feature, which allows you to split your VPN-routed traffic from normal internet traffic. Besides, it offers an Internet Kill Switch and ad-blocker further to enhance your online privacy in Turkish cyberspace. The service is vastly compatible with different devices and can be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and a few others.
Finally, with 5 simultaneous connections, a 31-day money-back guarantee, and a price of $3.33/mo , there are hardly any options better than PureVPN to navigate the privacy and censorship issues prevalent in Turkey. Its lowest pricing plans do it the best inexpensive VPN service so far. For these reasons, PureVPN is rated highly by reviewers.
- 6,500+ servers worldwide
- No logging policy
- Headquarted in Hong Kong
- Offers a 7-day free trial
- Windows app is sluggish
- Limited Payment Processor support
CyberGhost is based in Romania, a country free from data retention requirements. Turks are worried about their private information being out there in the open for law enforcement agencies to see.
Having a network of 6,400+ servers located in 90 countries, you can surf the web in Turkey with privacy that naturally comes when you connect to an offshore server location. Turkish citizens can easily access multiple geo-restricted contents in homelands such as the BBC iPlayer, Sky-News, Eleven Sports Network, France 24, Hotstar, and CBS Voot with many servers.
CyberGhost also offers 44 servers in Turkey itself. Meaning, by using these servers, people abroad can also enjoy Turkish entertainment in the form of TGRT Haber, Ülke TV, NTV Spor, Fenerbahçe TV, Semerkand TV, and MinikaGO.
This super lowkey VPN service is compatible with all the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, Roku, Xbox, and Play Station.
The key benefit of CyberGhost for Turkish users is its affordable price of $2.25/mo , 7 simultaneous connections, 45-day money-back guarantee, and strong privacy controls. Check out our CyberGhost review to know more about this VPN service.
- 6,400+ servers in 90 countries
- One of the Largest VPN server network
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Dodgy data jurisdiction and anonymity
- Limited payment options
Private Internet Access offers 24 servers within Turkey. It has a powerful network of 34,000+ servers in 77 countries that will help you take care of social media censorship rampant within Turkey. At the same time, connecting to the local servers will give you a Turkish IP address so that if you’re traveling abroad, you can still stream channels from back homes such as MinikaGO, MinikaÇocuk, Powertürk TV, Number One TV, Number One Türk TV, TMB TV, and Yaban TV.
Apart from bypassing social media restrictions, Turkish citizens can unblock popular geo-restricted content such as Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, BT-Sports, UK TV, CBS, Spotify Euro-Sport UK. It is easily configurable on popular devices such as macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Android TV, Firestick, Linux, and Router.
Furthermore, it is equipped with IPv6 leak protection, Split-Tunneling, Port Forwarding, Internet Kill Switch, and DNS security. When enabled, these features further improve your privacy on the web and come in handy if you’re performing sensitive activities like p2p-filesharing. There are, in fact, many p2p-optimized servers within PIA’s network, making it one of the best VPNs to access torrent websites in Austria and other European countries with strict laws and censorship.
For a price of $2.69/mo and a 30-day money-back guarantee along with 10 simultaneous connections, PIA is a very valuable VPN for those that want online freedom in Turkey.
Due to these factors, PIA remains highly rated among reviewers.
- 34,000+ servers in 77 countries
- Largest VPN server network
- 10 simultaneous logins.
- Headquartered in the U.S
- Faces issues unblocking sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
How to use a VPN in Turkey? A Step-By-Step process
We hope that by now, you must have decided on a VPN provider for yourself. Next, we will show you how to use a VPN to secure your online privacy and anonymity in Turkey.
- Sign up with a VPN provider. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the ExpressVPN application on your device. Make sure that you download the right application for your device. You can find those details on the ExpressVPN website.
- Launch the application, then log into it using ExpressVPN account details.
- Once you are logged in, locate your desired VPN server from the server list and connect to it.
- Once you are connected with the VPN, make sure to first check the IP address on any IP address checking the website to confirm a successful connection.
After you have confirmed that the connection is established, your internet traffic is encrypted, and your online presence will be anonymous now.
Is free VPN a good choice for Turkey?
In our honest opinion, using a free VPN in Turkey is not a good idea. There are countless reasons which will justify not using a free VPN in Turkey. We have listed a few of them to convince you that the free VPN and Turkey combination is a terrible idea.
Bandwidth – Most of the free VPN providers offer limited bandwidth on their accounts. The bandwidth they allocate for each account is so less that you can hardly watch a full episode from your favorite TV show on Netflix. With such a limitation on bandwidth, you will neither access geo-restricted content nor download P2P content from the internet.
Server Locations – As the number of servers offered by a free VPN provider never exceeds 5, you will never be able to judge the provider for its worth and ability to fulfill your desired purpose.
Speed – With such a low number of servers and a high number of VPN users connected to them every time, you are bound to receive slow speed. In some instances, the speeds will be so slow that you can barely open a webpage.
Security & Privacy – With no regard to network or security management, these providers continuously fail to safeguard your online activity and data. Due to the lack of state-of-the-art encryption and security tools, your data is likely to be hacked anytime. Most free VPN providers are also caught selling user’s information and personal data to different agencies. This reason alone is enough to compel people to use a premium VPN provider in countries like Pakistan, where the government is continuously involved in mass surveillance and anything you say about government or religion can be used against you in legal actions. Therefore, internet users there are forced to gain internet freedom with the VPNs that still work in Pakistan.
Luckily, few free VPN services still exist that allow you to secure your privacy in Turkey. As such, you should only go for a legitimate paid VPN service if privacy is something that you value.
Nonetheless, if you want to use a free VPN for Turkey for basic uses, you can count on the following providers:
Access Netflix libraries in Turkey with a VPN
Even though Netflix is available worldwide, its library of content varies from location to location. For example, someone who is in Turkey can’t watch the content which is available in the US library.
To fool Netflix into thinking that you are in the US, while in reality, you will be sitting in your lounge in Turkey, you will need a powerful VPN like ExpressVPN to circumvent Netflix geo-restrictions.
All you have to do is connect to ExpressVPN US-based server, and you should be able to access Netflix US library content. Before you try to access content on your browser, make sure that your browser cache, cookies, and history are completely cleared.
In case you are using a handheld device, then disable your device’s location service and clear the Netflix application’s cache before connecting the VPN.
As long as you remember these tips, you should not only be able to access Netflix US but other regional libraries as well.
Why you need a VPN in Turkey?
VPNs are becoming important to use for Turkish people with time for several reasons. We have listed down a few of them for you here:
State of Internet Freedom
President Erdogan’s rule in Turkey has led to a constant decline in internet freedom in the country. You can be penalized with jail time for up to 4 years for insulting Erdogan online in Turkey.
Criticism of the ruling members of the state is obviously not taken very lightly in the country. Arguably, this is one reason why content removal requests on social media are high in the country. These facts reveal the severity of censorship and the lack of freedom on the internet as a prevailing problem in Turkey.
Furthermore, public internet providers in hotels, resorts, etc., are obligated by authorities to maintain IP distribution logs of their users for a period of 1 year.
Amidst these totalitarian measures, the government correctly anticipated heightened VPN services and called for regular monitoring and VPNs restrictions.
The VPNs listed above are all tested and confirmed to be working in Turkey, and all of these are capable of ensuring your online freedom in the country.
Considering the government’s high-handedness regarding criticism of state elements in Turkey, bloggers have no choice but to engage in self-censorship to avoid provoking the government. In these states of affairs, VPNs can play an important role in promoting journalist’s and people’s right to criticize government institutions. The strong encryption and jurisdictional complications that VPNs introduce can give bloggers some anonymity to safely voice their thoughts without being punished for it by the state.
You can also use the Tor browser along with a VPN to further enhance your security and make it increasingly difficult for any third-party to trace you on the web.
Unblocking Turkish Streaming Channels Abroad
Turkey cinema and TV shows have gotten fairly popular over the past few years, especially in Muslim-majority countries. However, the rights to broadcast these shows are given only to a few local streaming services in Turkey, such as BluTV and PuhuTV.
This leaves many fans of these shows deprived of some good old entertainment if they live abroad since the above-mentioned streaming channels are only accessible with a Turkish IP address.
Which VPNs are blocked in Turkey?
Unfortunately, not all VPNs are accessible within Turkish territories. This is because the official authorities have cracked down on different VPN services in the recent past.
Here is the list of VPN services that do not work in Turkey:
- VPN Master
- Hotspot Shield
VPN not working in Turkey? – Try these tips
Authorities in Turkey deploy two different methods to block VPNs. These methods are VPN server identification and internet traffic blocking. The authorities recognize VPNs servers globally and add them to VPN services to be blocked through ISP’s firewall.
You can try out some tactics if your VPN service does not work in the country. You can opt port forwarding mechanism that allows you to overcome VPN blocking issues to a certain extent. You may forward the OpenVPN protocol to any port on TCP and UDP range.
The internet traffic blocking phenomenon is based on various ports that VPN providers use. Hence, it would be best to use the OpenVPN protocol to forward traffic on port 443. The said port is meant for HTTPS traffic primarily.
HTTPS is mandatory when it comes to accessing the internet securely from users’ points of view. Therefore, it becomes next to impossible that the authorities can block it. This way, you can take huge benefit from the port forwarding tactic.
Are VPNs legal in Turkey?
The legitimacy of VPN services in Turkey is a bit of a grey area. Though VPNs are not illegal by law in Turkey, in 2018, authorities started targeting VPNs, banning many of these in the process.
However, the country hasn’t had complete success in this task as some powerful VPNs are still working perfectly fine in the country, including those mentioned above.
So, while VPNs are not illegal per se, the government isn’t too happy about using VPNs to challenge the censorship they have imposed.
FAQs – Best VPNs for Turkey
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding the best VPNs for Turkey.
What is the most popular VPN service in Turkey?
ExpressVPN is the most popular VPN service in Turkey. Due to its ability to unlock any restrictions placed on social media or streaming media while upholding the complete online security and privacy of the user.
Is it legal to do torrenting in Turkey?
Yes, torrenting is completely legal in Turkey. However, downloading copyright material via torrent is illegal, although ISPs in Turkey have not placed any restrictions against it.
Can I access Hulu in Turkey with a VPN?
Yes, you can access Hulu in Turkey with a VPN. All you need is to connect to a US-based server in your VPN application. Once you have acquired a US-based IP address, you should be able to access Hulu in Turkey.
How can I watch Turkish channels outside Turkey?
Here’s how you can watch Turkish channels outside Turkey.
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN
- Download and install the ExpressVPN application on your device
- Log in to the application using ExpressVPN account details
- Locate Turkey server in ExpressVPN server list and connect to it
- Once you are connected to it, you should be able to access Turkish channels while abroad
What is the best VPN for streaming in Turkey?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming in Turkey. Thanks to its high-speed 3,000+ servers, which are spread globally, access almost any content from anywhere, as well as servers in Turkey to unblock local websites when abroad.
Best Turkish VPN: Final Thoughts
The state of the internet in Turkey is far from ideal. It is in serious need of extensive reforms to promote freedom of expression and individuals’ right to have privacy.
As per our findings and recommendation, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Turkey for its capabilities of unblocking national and international blocked websites, securing your online privacy and data via military-grade encryption (AES-256), and offering you complete anonymity from government or private organizations.
Hence, a VPN, especially ExpressVPN, is the only proven method to counter the Turkish government’s authoritarian measures and circle around censorship, which is routinely applied on the web.
If you hurry up, you can avail of ExpressVPN limited time “12 Months + 3 Months Free“ offer, which also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Other countries with censorship and privacy issues
Turkey isn’t the odd one out when it comes to privacy and censorship issues. Here are a few articles focusing on workarounds for these problems in specific countries:
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