In times of political turmoil in Turkey, social media platforms are often taken down, and the frequency of such shutdowns seems to be rising. The most recent episode involves the arrest of numerous pro-Kurdish lawmakers who are political adversaries of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the latest instance of internet restriction in the nation, internet service providers disabled Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and WhatsApp. Through the use of a VPN, you may circumvent these restrictions.
There has never been a more crucial moment to utilize a VPN if you live in or visit Turkey. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet data on a device and routes it via a server of the user’s choice.
Internet users may unblock all prohibited social media and other websites and applications by using a VPN and connecting to another country. Internet service providers, who apply the bans to government authorities, have no way of knowing the destination or content of your internet traffic. The VPN service mentioned in this article has servers located across the world. This implies that it is possible to get a genuine Turkish IP address from anywhere on the globe.
It’s critical to know that Turkish authorities have discovered VPN users and have begun restricting certain providers. That is why PrivacyExplore contacted many VPN providers directly to establish that they are still operational.
Best VPN for Turkey
Our best suggestion for a Turkish VPN is NordVPN. The company provides some of the industry’s greatest security features, including Tor over VPN, double VPN, and anti-DDoS internet connections. It’s also one of the more generous plans for the price, with multiple simultaneous connections. NordVPN is fully logless and is domiciled in Panama, which puts it far outside the reach of state-run intelligence services. Additionally, it can unblock anti-VPN streaming services.
NordVPN unblocks a variety of websites, including US Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN, Sky, and Sling TV. It outperformed all rivals in our speed testing, ensuring a smooth streaming experience and lightning-fast download speeds.
Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and MacOS applications are available. The basic package supports concurrent connections on multiple devices.
Methodology for VPN testing in Turkey
PrivacyExplore’s mission is to provide readers with the most accurate, relevant, and exhaustive VPN evaluations available on the web. To do this, we conduct a thorough evaluation of each VPN we suggest using empirical testing, first-hand experience, and expert analysis. When it comes to VPNs for Turkey, we focus on the following:
- Security: Throughout the connection procedure, the VPN should employ robust and up-to-date encryption standards. We examined VPNs for a range of data leakage vulnerabilities, including DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leakage.
- Speed: We evaluate connection speeds to VPN servers located across the globe to guarantee that customers have sufficient bandwidth for streaming and downloading.
- Streaming: We conduct real-world testing to determine whether VPNs are capable of safely accessing popular streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.
- Customer support: As secret shopper, our reviewers call each VPN’s customer service to ascertain response times and quality.
How to use a virtual private network (VPN) in Turkey
We’ve done our best to recommend the best VPN in Turkey, but the final choice is ultimately yours. While reading the mini-reviews provides a high-level summary of each service, we invite you to read the complete user review linked after each one for further information.
How to access the web anonymously and securely in Turkey:
- Choose a provider and a plan that is right for you. We suggest NordVPN in particular.
- Create an account and enter your credit card details.
- Continue by downloading the necessary programs from your smartphone.
- When the installation is complete, restart all devices.
- Open the appropriate VPN application and log in using your username and password. Choose a server in your desired location.
- A successful connection is often shown in the taskbar or at the top of the screen of your smartphone. Now that your internet connection is encrypted and secure, you may surf the web anonymously.
Accessing Netflix libraries in Turkey
While Netflix is officially accessible worldwide, the reality is that library selection varies by region. Turkey is only a fraction of the online content available on the Netflix app if you use a US IP address to log in.
Certain individuals believe that since the account was first registered in the United States, they will always be shown that library. That is not true. If you attempt to access Netflix in Turkey without concealing your IP address, you will be sent to the local library.
Therefore, if you want to recover access to US Netflix, you must first connect to a US VPN server. While the VPN mentioned here unblocks Netflix, it’s a good idea to contact customer support if you have any issues.
Free VPNs often do not function with Netflix since their location-aware technology is insufficient to circumvent the streaming giant’s sophisticated censors. That is another reason to avoid them.
Watching Turkish television and accessing banking services when abroad
Turkish people who are working or studying abroad will profit from a VPN connection since it enables them to communicate with friends and relatives, watch the Turkish Superliga, and access banking services.
TRT 1, TRT Haber, TRT Sport, ITU, and Star are some of the most popular channels in Turkey. They broadcast a variety of content, including news, entertainment, sports, and feature films. However, to watch their live broadcasts, you must first get a Turkish IP address. It is OK for residents of Turkey who connect to the internet through a local ISP, but you will need a VPN to access the internet from outside the nation. The VPN services mentioned on this list should resolve the issue for you.
Banking and other financial organizations are required to maintain compliance measures and monitor incoming requests. To be secure, it’s best to log in using a Turkish IP address each time you want to do an online transaction. This is because you will not generate any internal warnings or get locked out of your account. It’s just more convenient to utilize a VPN for peace of mind.
Is VPN service unavailable in Turkey? Consider port forwarding.
While we were unable to verify it on the ground, several users on Reddit claimed successfully circumventing VPN bans through a method called port forwarding.
Essentially, the Turkish authorities use two approaches for VPN blockages. The first step is to identify all VPN servers worldwide and add them to a blacklist that will be prohibited by ISP firewalls. Because this would require a significant amount of time and money and would need to be repeated, just a few VPNs are probably being targeted.
The second technique is to prevent internet traffic from going to and from ports often used by VPNs. Ports are used for a variety of applications. For example, the majority of online browser traffic passes via port 80, but port 22 is normally allocated for SSH connection to servers.
One of the most significant advantages of the OpenVPN protocol is that it is not limited and may be routed to any port in the TCP or UDP range. As a result, this approach circumvents filtering measures designed to prevent traffic from passing via particular ports. The most natural port for OpenVPN traffic to be forwarded to is 443.
HTTPS communication is sent over port 443. HTTPS communication is encrypted using the same technique as VPN traffic, SSL, and hence seems to an outsider to be almost similar. HTTPS is widely used on websites that require an additional layer of security, such as online banking, login pages, and payment processing. Authorities are unlikely to ban this port, given how critical it is for consumers to use the web securely.
Port forwarding is typically performed on a wireless router, however certain VPN software and operating systems support it. While the specific procedure may vary depending on your router firmware, suffice it to say that you’ll want to send all OpenVPN traffic through port 443 to conceal it from authorities.
Turkey VPN FAQs
Is torrent downloading legal in Turkey?
While torrenting is permitted in Turkey, piracy—the act of illegally downloading copyrighted content—is not.
Turkey has blacklisted popular torrent trackers such as ThePirateBay. To access them, you must use a VPN.
According to some users, internet service providers in Turkey would give consumers a warning message if they are caught downloading pirated files, followed by bandwidth throttling for repeat offenders. Anti-piracy laws and regulations, on the other hand, are seldom implemented.
Is a VPN really secure?
Yes, VPNs are private as long as you pick a reliable VPN service. Between your device and the VPN server, an encrypted tunnel guarantees that no third party can monitor your connection. Make sure to use a VPN that maintains no records of your internet activities (all of the providers we recommend meet this requirement).
Which VPN services are restricted in Turkey?
While we are unable to test every VPN available, the following VPNs have been identified as being targeted by Turkish authorities by local news sources:
- VPN Master
- Hotspot Shield
- Zero VPN
Additionally, ISPs are blocking Tor connections.
Are VPNs legal in Turkey?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN in Turkey. While Turkey started blocking access to Tor and VPN services late last year, using one is not prohibited. No one has been detained or charged with a crime just for using a VPN, as far as we are aware.
Having said that, everything citizens of Turkey do online while connected to a VPN is still subject to Turkish law. We do not encourage people to breach the law while using a VPN, despite the VPN’s stated purpose of concealing their internet behavior.
Additionally, Turkish officials have been rather aggressive in restricting access to VPN servers throughout 2017. We’ve gotten numerous comments indicating that the VPN we suggested was restricted, however, these restrictions were luckily very temporary. These issues have been resolved by VPN providers and the service continues to work, but customers should continue to anticipate intermittent interruptions.
Is it necessary to use a free VPN in Turkey?
VPNs can conceal your identity, but the free ones available on the internet are inadequate for safely and securely accessing the online. As such, if you opt to utilize a free VPN, you may be in for a bad surprise.
On a practical level, free VPNs use insecure encryption standards, often throttle users’ bandwidth, and lack a diverse server network. They are incapable of doing data-intensive operations such as streaming video, playing online games, or accessing banking and financial services.
Simultaneously, there are instances of free VPN providers knowingly infecting host devices with malware to mine data for third-party advertisements. One has even built botnet armies by piggybacking on idle user bandwidth. This runs against the concept of utilizing a VPN in the first place, which is why a subscription service is well worth the few bucks each month.
How can I securely blog in Turkey?
As previously stated, any effort at online free expression or even thinly disguised criticism of the government might result in imprisonment. This is a concerning occurrence that demonstrates the government’s authoritarian impulses. However, not everything is lost.
To blog securely in Turkey, you must completely erase your digital imprint when writing and publishing your views. This technique takes tremendous caution and circumspection since the repercussions might be severe.
Turkish authorities are fully aware that the web is an immensely potent instrument. Our guide to blogging securely contains all the information you need to be safe when writing and publishing anonymously on the internet.
Is NordVPN available in Turkey?
Yes. NordVPN currently runs eight servers in Istanbul. VPNs are prohibited in Turkey, and local internet service providers strive to block the majority of VPN connections. NordVPN suggests utilizing the “obfuscated servers” feature, which makes identifying a VPN connection more difficult.
As of the time of writing, NordVPN’s website was still accessible in Turkey.
Is video chat prohibited in Turkey?
Turkey has not expressly prohibited VoIP communications—online voice and video conferencing. However, the nation often prohibits all websites and applications that allow for video communication, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype.
How can a VPN contribute to Turkey’s freedom of expression?
A VPN encrypts data transferred to and from a device and routes it via an intermediate server, thereby preventing third parties from spying on the user’s internet activities or tracing it back to an individual. Without fear of monitoring, Turkish citizens may express themselves more freely online and access websites and services that the government has forbidden.
How is the Turkish government’s internet censorship implemented?
Turkish authorities block the internet in a variety of ways.
Turkey’s regulator of broadcast media is responsible for monitoring and regulating internet services. It has the authority to direct internet service providers in the nation to block and censor websites and services, reduce bandwidth, or even shut down the internet.
Turkey routinely uses content removal orders to stifle online debates unfavorable to the government. Turkey ranks third in terms of requests to remove social media content per 100,000 internet users, after Russia and Monaco.
Journalists and opposition activists are often persecuted, arrested, harassed, and assaulted by the governing party and its supporters.
In Turkey, streaming services must get a license to operate.
How can I use PayPal in Turkey?
PayPal ceased operations in Turkey in 2016 due to an inability to get a license. Payments were immediately halted. Individuals in Turkey might still be able to access the site and withdraw money from a Turkish bank account by 2020. However, anyone in Turkey who wants to withdraw cash from their PayPal account must now contact PayPal directly through email.
If you want to continue using PayPal in Turkey, you must register an account in a different country. You can do this with the use of a VPN, but you’ll also need a local payment mechanism to finance your PayPal account, such as a bank account or credit card.