The increasing number of crisis in Turkey brings about new online restrictions. The ones taking the most credit in this are the VPN service providers. In Turkey, we had experienced similar problems earlier. However, the last censorship occurring on 20 March 2018 was the biggest one. As a native, I will share the 5 best VPNs for Turkey so that you can easily bypass censorship. These providers are all handpicked and work with Turkish internet service and mobile carrier providers!
Note: Most of the free VPNs -as well as some paid ones, were blocked and they are not usable at the moment. Still, there are plenty of VPNs out there working like a charm without giving us any hard time at all and they cannot be blocked!
Check our comprehensive list and find the most suitable provider for your needs.
- Bypass restrictions
- Online freedom
- Country coverage
- Speed performance
- Log policy
- Moneyback guarantee
- No logs
- 45 days
- No logs
- 30 days
- Super fast
- Minimal log
- 30 days
How did VPNs become so popular in Turkey?
We used to use Google DNS servers to bypass censorship. Yet, a few years back, almost all of the free DNS servers were blocked by the ISP and they are not usable now.
The hunger for accessing blocked websites in Turkey increased so much that this led people to new alternatives: VPN and Proxy services.
Even though the main purpose of the VPN services is to encrypt your data, it can also be used to bypass censorship as it changes your IP address and makes you invisible in the online world.
Now in Turkey, millions of people prefer to use VPN services to access:
- Adult content and apps
- Betting and gambling websites etc…
Before listing the companies, we need to understand the problem behind the VPN blockage.
When did all start?
From the very beginning, it has been forbidden to access adult, betting and gambling websites. Such URLs were blocked by a single judge verdict and this still persists. As of late 2013, Turkey faced plenty of political crisis. That extended the censorship to social media: Youtube and Twitter.
Yet! How can a website be blocked without verdict?
It all started with BTK (Bilgi Teknoloji Kurumu). The government gave all the strings to a couple of people to keep an eye on the internet. When they decide if something is not proper for the internet, all they have to do ask the ISP to block it. If the ISP does not abide by the decision, it might be fined for 50.000$.
Now in Turkey BTK can block any website it wants for a while or forever without having a judging verdict! Pretty easy ha!
BTK head says:
- …VPN apps, offering private access to blocked websites, can change their IP addresses and bypass methods. The very reason is that they are being used in this way: Bypassing censorship. This is a global problem. We took precautions on these apps and now we are testing new tools. Once the tests are done, we will move step by step…
Now that we do understand the problem. It is the right time to show off the five best VPN providers for Turkey. All these providers meet our overall expectations depicted below…back to menu ↑
How did we evaluate the list?
Most probably, you have seen plenty of advertisement related to this topic. However, almost all of the suggested VPNs from the other companies do not depend on native experience. We do live in Turkey and our picks will work. Period.
While we were making our list, we focused on:
- Service sites are not blocked in Turkey
- If the service works in Turkey or not
- Log policy so that your privacy is in safe hands
- Speed performance
- The number of devices you can use with.
5 Best VPNs that work in Turkey
Before jumping into the list, there is one last thing you have to be careful about. In Turkey, there are three ISP providers: Turkcell, Turk Telekom, and Vodafone.
Besides the BTK filter, each provider has different VPN blocking systems. The hardest provider to bypass is Turkcell, followed by Vodafone and lastly, Turk Telekom.
If you are not sure which provider you are using, make sure to check whoismyisp.org.
Now that we know our ISP, it is time to pick VPN services.
NordVPN takes the lead in our list. Even after the March 2018 filter, NordVPN website is still accessible in Turkey.
Throughout the entire site, we do recommend NordVPN to our visitors because of several reasons.
First of all, Panama based VPN provider offers a strict no-log policy for all its users. That applies to users in Turkey as well. Because of the 2 years of data retention law in Turkey, NordVPN can be your top choice.
Secondly, NordVPN rest assures you get a good speed performance when connected to their VPN server. According to our tests, you will get an awesome mobile speed performance. However, the same performance does not apply to PC platforms. With the speed given, you can have a seamless social media and online surf experience. Still, you might not like the speed on your pc.
In case you visit Turkey your family or friends, each person will need a VPN service as well. In this case, NordVPN will cover up to 6 devices at a time. It is a pretty good steal if you choose long term plan. For as low as a cup of the coffee price (2.75$), you can enjoy ultimate freedom in Turkey.
How to bypass Turkey VPN censor with NordVPN?
ISP in Turkey blocked many of NordVPN server earlier. They still do that. However, NordVPN uses obfuscated technology to cover VPN fingerprints and make the connect look neutral. Still, there are a few problems you might face. I lined them up below.
- Turk Telekom users: You have to use NordVPN obfuscated servers. If not, ISP might recognize your VPN connection and try to block your connection. You can find the updated obfuscated server by contacting customer support. Learn the server number and connect to it. Server names might be different but it is not important. Just connect to the stated number.
- Turkcell/Superonline users: NordVPN obfuscated servers might not work for you. However, there is a workaround. You can use NordVPN browser extension to bypass censorship easily.
- Vodafone users: Obfuscated servers will work fine.
ExpressVPN was blocked several times by BTK yet it continues its service with the mirror websites. It is one of the most stable VPN service providers in the market and you can access any website you want.
With the decent speed, you can stream HD videos, bypass censorship, use Booking.com, access geo-restricted content from Turkey (BBC iPlayer, Netflix USA, German streaming websites, etc…)
If you just want online freedom, make sure to choose PPTP (Fastest VPN protocol) with Germany or Netherland servers. You will be pleased with the performance. Moreover, you can use ExpressVPN simultaneously up to 5 devices.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN proved to be a no-log VPN provider in the market. In case you are a privacy geek, ExpressVPN got your back.
How to bypass Turkey VPN censor with ExpressVPN?
- Turk Telekom/Vodafone users: There is no blockage to ExpressVPN. You can simply register, and download VPN app from the mirror website.
- Turkcell/Superonline users: After completing your purchase, you will need to place your activation code to the software. While doing so, you might face censorship. You may need to use Turktelekom public Wifi for the activation or set the VPN up manually. In case you are stuck, make sure to ask for help from ExpressVPN customer support. They are online 24/7.
StrongVPN has never been mentioned by the newspapers earlier. As the name is unknown, ISPs did not block it either. The provider is a part of reliablehosting.com company and it is extremely fast. No matter you are Turkcell/Superonline or TTNet/Turktelekom user, you can use StrongVPN with a piece of mind.
According to our review, it can help you stream Netflix and BBC iPlayer abroad with amazing speed performance. If you are a big fan of social media streaming, you won’t experience any performance issues. Instagram stories, facebook or 4k youtube videos will stream like a charm.
It is worth to mention that StrongVPN operates under USA jurisdiction and they are bound to USA laws. Furthermore, they keep some logs. Unless privacy is a big deal for you, you should go for StrongVPN and enjoy the extreme speed up to 12 devices simultaneously.
How to bypass Turkey VPN censor with ExpressVPN?
- Turk Telekom/Vodafone users: You will not face any blockage from your ISP. Simply register and download the app. After logging in to the service, simply choose a server outside of Turkey (Netherlands, Germany, UK I prefer) and enjoy your online freedom.
- Turkcell/Superonline users: In case of any blockage, make sure to activate the “Scramble” feature in the setting menu. It is strongly suggested for you. Once it is activated, you can access any website you want.
Surfshark is an offshore based VPN provider. Fortunately, after testing the accessibility of the website, I approved that it is not blocked in Turkey.
What makes Surfshark one of the best choices for Turkey is not its accessibility but its speed and no-log policy. According to our recent test, Surfshark turned out to be one of the fastest VPN providers I have reviewed so far. Furthermore, Surfshark does have a strict no-log policy. Both of these features will give us stress-free online surfing in Turkey.
Just starting from 1.9$, you can enjoy Surfshark with the unlimited simultaneous connection. Yet, keep in mind that you cannot share your account with someone else.
Last but not least, Surfshark’s optimized servers will help you stream your favorite shows with the finest quality possible.
How to bypass Turkey VPN censor with SurShark?
Surfshark works fine with all IPS in Turkey. All you need to do:
- Register a Surfshark account,
- Download the compatible app to your device and install,
- Sign in with your credentials, and connect to a European country server.
Now you can access any website you want.
Earlier this spot belonged to SaferVPN. Because of the latest censorship both from Turk Telekom and Turkcell/Superonline, I have decided to replace the provider with Perfect Privacy.
Relatively new in the market, Perfect Privacy is Switzerland VPN service provider focusing your ultimate privacy with its proven no log servers.
What is more fancy about Perfect Privacy is you can encrypt the internet connection up to four different servers leaving no trace behind. Furthermore, you can enhance your online privacy by enabling “Port Forwarding, TrackStop filter, NeuroRouting” features.
Now that we are convinced about our privacy, we got to check the speed performance of the provider. Unfortunately, as I encountered the provider recently, I did not have the chance to test the servers. However, I ran a speed test with my 50Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload connection with Germany servers. I got 89 pings, 24.64 Mbps download, and 23.50 Mbps upload speed.
Pretty good values to stream shows abroad, enjoy 4k videos and have a seamless social media experience. You can enjoy this speed for all of your devices!
But! There is a drawback I got to take your attention to. Perfect Privacy does only have 3 apps (Windows, MAC, Android). As for the other devices, you have to set up the service manually.
How to bypass Turkey VPN censor with Perfect Privacy?
Because of the ISPs in Turkey are not aware of this secret gem, you will not face any censor problem while using Perfect Privacy.
All you need to do:
- register a Perfect Privacy account
- download the compatible app to your device or set it up manually
- log in with your credentials and connect a server outside of Turkey
You are good to go!back to menu ↑
Why you need a VPN in Turkey?
There are several areas where you can use a VPN service in Turkey. Besides encrypting your data, a good VPN can kill your online experience headache pretty fast. Yet, how?
Using a VPN can help you:
Prevent ISP tracking
All of the websites you are visiting have to be stored by ISP in Turkey. When you use a VPN, your ISP cannot figure out which website you are visiting as your IP address is changed and your data is being encrypted.
Access any website you want
All of the gambling, betting, adult websites, as well as Wikipedia, are blocked at the moment. By using a VPN service, you can change your local IP address to another one and bypass this censorship easily.
BTK can slow down any website they want. After the Istanbul bombing in March 2016, and assassination of Andrei Karlov, social media users experienced slowdowns on Twitter, Facebook, and youtube. In other words, BTK throttled the internet during that period. A VPN service can help you access any content you want by avoiding ISP throttling filters.
Lawyers of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (Tursab) say:
- Netherlands-based Booking.com was engaging in unfair competition in the marketing of hotels in Turkey.
When you visit booking.com from Turkey, you will get a notification that you cannot use it in Turkey. Using a VPN will help you change your Turkish IP address so that you can book your favorite hotel room as if you are in your hometown.
Access geo-restricted content
Enjoying the sun in Marmaris and want to access BBC.co.uk? then you must have a UK IP address, with the help of a VPN, you can easily switch your IP from TR to UK with a single click, and you can watch your favorite shows.
We now know how we can make use of a VPN service in Turkey. Furthermore, you might ponder if you will get into trouble when you use a VPN…back to menu ↑
Using VPN in Turkey – Legal or illegal?
Do not let anything scare you while using a VPN service in Turkey. Even the government put a lot of effort to apply filters to some websites, using a VPN service is totally legal in Turkey as the banks, universities and the government itself uses for security purposes. Furthermore, there is no law related to VPN usage. Thus, there is nothing to worry about.
Yet, there is one and only problem in Turkey. By a new law passed on 9/11/2016, ISPs are being forced by a new law to take action if demanded by Government or BTK. In short, authorities may ask ISPs to block VPN sites/protocols or throttle social media.
Censorship in Turkey peaked up the worst level. Blocked websites, two years of data retention law, social media throttling are only a few examples of the censorship we are exposed to. As an alternative solution to censorship, VPN service providers gained so much popularity. However, the government took further action and forced ISP (Vodafone, Turk Telekom, Turkcell) to block VPNs and make the VPN service connection impossible.
PureVPN, VyperVPN, CyberGhost, IVacy, HotSpotShield, Zenmate, IPVanish, Private Internet Access are some of the important providers currently blocked and you cannot use them under any circumstance. On the other hand, there are few other providers like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Perfect Privacy, StrongVPN, SurfShark working without any troubles. Still, some of them might also be blocked with different ISPs. That is why I wrote down detailed follow-up notes for each provider.
Now that we know which VPN works in Turkey, I also mentioned how a VPN can help you during your holiday. With a reliable provider, you can access any website you want, bypass booking.com blockage, prevent data retention law, and overcome social media throttling.
Note: If there is any case these services are not working properly, we will be updating our article and give you the most current, working URLs of the services.
Zenmate Hotspot Tunnel Bear Hola VPN PrivateInternet VyprVPN CyberGhost IPVanish
You cannot imagine how it feels living in a country where the censorship peaks to top level. That is why I decided to start VPNxD to fight for true online freedom not for my homeland but for all world. On VPNxD, I am responsible both for reviews and “how-to-do” articles.