5 Best VPNs to Avoid Government Snooping in Turkey

Last Updated by Thalia Oosthuizen on October 23, 2018

If you are planning a stay in Turkey soon and need to be online, we should let you know that online censorship and restrictions are a massive issue in Turkey. The Turkish government makes ISPs (Internet Service Providers) use specific keywords that blacklist any websites that criticize the AKP, the national ruling party of Turkey.

TurkeyTurkey experienced a military coup that worsened censorship back in 2016. This caused the government to block even more sites and passed a new law that lets RTUK, Turkey’s media watchdog, censor more content than ever before.

Whether you’re a resident or visitor to Turkey, if you want to access content, you will need a Virtual Private Network, aka VPN. Using a VPN will unblock online content that is both blocked and restricted all while providing you with the needed security and privacy without ever being tracked.

When you use a VPN in Turkey, your IP address is moved to a different server, in a different country, making you appear as if you were never in Turkey to begin with. This change in IP address allows you to bypass government censorship so you can access all restricted content, including social media and streaming sites. The best VPN also gives you strong encryption so no one can see what you are doing on the Internet.

Selecting a VPN for Turkey

The VPN you choose to use in Turkey needs to be very trustworthy and reliable. Many VPNs do not provide good privacy policies, or they store your data. With that said, if the government asked the VPN service you used, to surrender their data; your information will be in there.

These five VPNs listed below have high encryption, DNS leak protection, and strict no-logs policies. They ensure that no usage or connection logs created by you while online are stored. This means that if a government asks a VPN provider for their logs, you will have nothing to stress about for there are no logs to be given.

Here Are The Best VPNs For Turkey

1ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
One of the fastest, most comprehensive VPNs available for use in Turkey. It has brilliant connection speeds and firm privacy policies that keep you secure and safe online. ExpressVPN’s has excellent security features. You can effortlessly access various sites, and apps all while offering over 2000 servers in more than 90 countries. ExpressVPN also has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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2NordVPN

NordVPN

This VPN is one of the best on the market, with more than 4889 servers located around the world. The servers are all high speed, allowing you to access any content you want quickly. Plus, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy and a brilliant customer support team. You can also use up to 6 devices at the same time. The best part, NordVPN includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

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3CyberGhost

CyberGhost

This VPN has easy-to-use software that has a strong 256-bit encryption, ensuring your traffic is protected. You can use up to 7 devices at the same time while the strict no-logs policy keeps your data safe. It has servers in over 60 countries, giving you extreme coverage. The bandwidth is unlimited, the connection speeds are very fast, and there is a kill switch that protects you if the server drops unexpectedly. Just like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost comes with a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans. Unlike ExpressVPN however, CyberGhost has a  free 7-day trial.

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4Private VPN

PrivateVPN has a lot to offer, from a strict no-logs policy to breakneck connection speeds. Even though Private VPN has a small network of servers, those servers are very secure. You can use this VPN on up to 6 devices at the same time. With PrivateVPN you are able to stream and access content that is restricted or blocked. PrivateVPN’s has a 30-day money back guarantee on each of its subscription plans.

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5ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN has been designed with security as its primary focus. This gives excellent network defense as well as a powerful 256-bit encryption for secure, private connections. The strong OpenVPN protocol keeps you protected while the clear privacy policy gives you peace of mind.

The strict no-logs policy and DNS leak protection are great additional safety features, as is the built-in kill-switch. ProtonVPN has 261 secure servers in 20 countries and supplies high speeds. You also get unlimited bandwidth on up to 10 devices simultaneously. Not to mention, ProtonVPN has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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Why You Need A VPN In Turkey

Politically, the situation is very tense in Turkey, and the government has gone to extreme lengths to censor any websites that they deem anti-religion, anti-regime, and immoral. For residents, political dissenters, journalists, and those who want to access unprejudiced websites, online services, and news from the rest of the world, you need a VPN that can be used in Turkey.

When you use a VPN in Turkey, you automatically hide your IP address and your location, all while using strong encryption. What does this mean to you? This means that any data going from or coming to your device is protected and inaccessible.

A VPN offers you unparalleled levels of privacy when accessing the internet. Along with this privacy, you receive the ability to change your location so you can access any blocked and censored content without being tracked or watched.

The Turkish Laws

Due to invasive laws, the Internet Act and Electronic Communications Law (ECL), the Internet in Turkey is strictly controlled. There are also two agencies that firmly enforce these legislations: The Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication (PTC) and the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). Plus, as mentioned earlier, a new law was passed that allows RTUK to censor any online content without any oversight.

Organizations such as the Human Rights Watch, have criticized the strict censorship of online content. But since the military coup of 2016 failed, censorship and surveillance have only become worse. The authorities have arrested and imprisoned many journalists and anti-regime police who have spoken out against their actions.

If you want to read the news in Turkey, know that it is full of propaganda. If you are someone that disagrees with the restrictive, extreme policies, it is wise to be informed that the government has done their best to shut down access to any content that they consider problematic to their cause.

What A VPN Can Do For You While In Turkey

Besides using a VPN to access news in Turkey, you can also access any content in the world. Geo-blocks are frustrating and irritating, no matter where you are located. As long as you have a VPN, you will be able to bypass all of these restrictions no problem.

The VPNs listed above have access to many servers all around the world. The abundance of servers will allow you to connect with networks for different activities such as peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting, streaming, and downloading. You can also use a VPN in Turkey to access sports games and competitions.

The Websites Blocked In Turkey

During any political crises, the Turkish government often restricts access to certain websites for a short period of time. These blocked websites are YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Not only are they blocking content but they also throttle users’ bandwidth whenever there is a politically caused riot. After the 2016 military coup, the government restored access to many blocked sites. These sites can change to blocked at any moment based on when the government feels its necessary.

There are over 114,000 sites that are permanently blocked. These sites include pirating sites, pornography sites, and certain streaming platforms.

The government has also blocked Google’s websites on occasion, along with Translate, Docs, Analytics, Tools, and Books. Other sites that are blocked sometimes are Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and GitHub.

Legal Use Of VPNs In Turkey

Using a VPN in Turkey is legal. But know that accessing content that has been blocked by the government while hiding your activities from surveillance could result in issues. The current government teeters on the edge of being a quasi-dictatorship, so the legal system and police are locked under the ruling dynasty’s procedures. If you are seen as doing something suspicious, you can be arrested, questioned, and incarcerated if they decide you are guilty.

After the 2016 military coup, many citizens, including journalists, police officers, teachers, government workers, and others, were jailed because they supported the coup. Luckily many of these people were never proven guilty. However, they were incarcerated for using encryption on their private messengers.

The legality of using a VPN in Turkey has thus become a bit of a gray area. Due to this, residents and visitors are recommended to use incredibly secure VPNs and to be very careful about where the VPN comes from. When searching for a VPN, do so from a public Wi-Fi network so your home IP address will not be flagged. While this may seem over the top, you need to take every precaution.

For Your Privacy, Security, and Safety

For any citizen or visitor looking for online privacy and freedom, an established, secure, trustworthy VPN is the solution. All of the VPNs listed above are not only safe and secure for use in Turkey but will let you unblock any sites anonymously.

In addition to the safety and security of these VPNs, they also provide strong encryption that keeps you secure on public Wi-Fi networks. With most of these VPNs having a 30-day money back guarantee, why not try one today.

Thalia Oosthuizen
After studying computer science at University for three years, Thalia developed a passion for online privacy and security. This passion has lead to her becoming a cyber security writer, sharing her knowledge with others so they have access to the information needed to protect their privacy online.