Turkey used to be more liberal but today it is blocking what we would deem to be important parts of the Internet for its citizens. Sure, the situation wasn’t always politically stable, to say the least, but even before the coup attempt – the authorities were heavily censoring the Internet.
Luckily, there are good VPNs out there that help users access all the sites they want, including Twitter, Facebook and so on. Also, these VPNs will in some instances — like when you’re accessing the international media — seemingly make your Internet connection faster. This happens as your ISP won’t know what you’re doing online and won’t be able to throttle your connection (cause they can do such things).
We have tested a few dozen different solutions to come up with the list of best VPNs for Turkey. Here they are:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Internet censorship in Turkey
Turkey was never truly open to the Internet, but in late 2016 – its censorship regime went from “moderate” to “severe.” Such a move came on the heels of a series of social media shutdowns, regional Internet blackouts and restrictions on VPNs and Tor documented by the digital rights watchdog Turkey Blocks. Months earlier, human rights research group Freedom House had already downgraded its outlook of internet freedom in the country to “Not Free.”
In the 2017 Report on media freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe noted:
- the increase of blocking and filtering of web pages;
- an increased practice of resorting to bandwidth throttling during times of domestic crises, making certain websites inaccessible;
- cases of full internet shutdowns;
- increase of prosecutions and detentions for online activities causing a great chilling effect (self-censorship).
Parts of this are possible as Internet traffic passes through Türk Telekom’s infrastructure, allowing for centralized control over the content.
In earlier years, Turkey implemented legal and institutional reforms driven by the country’s ambitions to become a European Union member state. At the same time, the country demonstrated its high sensitivity to defamation and other online content that it deemed “inappropriate” — resulting in the closure of a number of websites.
Other organizations have also found Turkey’s Internet policies questionable, including the OpenNet Initiative, Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House and Alternative Informatics Association — the last of which even organized one of the first and largest street protests against Internet censorship in Istanbul in July 2010.
Why do you need a VPN for Turkey?
You do want to access the Internet in its entirety and you want to do it without anyone knowing what you’re reading, listening and/or watching online. And that’s what the VPN is all about — to give you that extra dose of anonymity.
With a VPN running on your devices — not just your computer but also on your phone and tablet — you get the freedom we (all of us) deserve. With privacy having a premium these days, a VPN lets you get it for just a few dollars per month.
In addition, a VPN will also keep you safe while accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, encrypting all data traveling to and from your devices and the rest of the Internet. This in turn protects you from so-called “man in the middle” attacks, which have been growing in popularity in recent years.
Finally, you get to access popular streaming services just like you are in the US, Germany or any other place you want. Simply connect to the appropriate server and as far as those services are concerned, you’re not in Turkey – but in the land of the server you’ve just selected. Yes, it’s that easy.
Get a VPN for all your needs!
You should get a VPN that could be used all across the world for many other things, including:
- Accessing content that could otherwise be restricted in your physical location.
- Preventing tracking and minimizing your digital footprint so that no one can track you online (at least not that easily).
- Avoiding throttling from your ISP – which is known to happen when you’re torrenting or accessing video streaming services.
- Bypassing firewalls in a workplace, university, school and so on.
- Bypassing censorship in places like China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East, and even Turkey and Russia.
- Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – with a VPN encrypting all the traffic coming to and from your devices.
The bottom line is – get a VPN that fits all your needs. The top contenders include the following: