Online freedom is in constant peril in Turkey. Freedom House gave the country a Freedom on the Net 2020 score of 35/100 (0 = least free, 100 = most free).
Turkish authorities continued to increase their lockdown on content in the country during 2019. Blocking is continuing to increase in Turkey, with over 114,000 websites inaccessible from inside the country. Over 90% of the blocked sites were blocked due to “obscenity.” Websites that are deemed to be defamatory of Islam are blocked out of hand.
Access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and WhatsApp have all been temporarily suspended at one time or another. Internet access to Wikipedia has been permanently blocked.
This is why a VPN is needed so you can perform your online activities privately. A VPN is also great for accessing streaming content from around the world.
Netflix is available in Turkey but is censored, and the content is limited to that which is licensed for viewing in the country. The content will most assuredly be different from that of a visitor’s home country. Hulu is restricted to the United States, while U.K.-based BBC iPlayer is restricted to United Kingdom viewers.
However, Turkish internet users can put all these restrictions behind them by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to evade Turkish roadblocks and open up access to all that the internet has to offer.
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, preventing the government from monitoring and blocking your online activities, and also preventing any other nosy parties from watching what you’re doing online.
A VPN can also make it appear as if you are located in another country, opening access to the geo-blocked local content in that country.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 VPN providers that still work inside of Turkey, providing the best online protection for your Turkish online activities.
How to Use a VPN in Turkey
It’s easy to use a VPN inside Turkey. Just do the following:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (NordVPN is my #1 recommendation.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Sign in to the VPN service.
- Select a VPN inside of Turkey to protect your internet activities while inside the country or to access Turkish content from outside of the country. To access content in another country, select a server in the country of your choice.
- Enjoy your newfound Turkish internet freedom!
Best VPN Service Providers for Use in Turkey
Please note: While VPN use is not illegal in Turkey, the government there does block some VPN providers. The following 5 VPN providers still worked from inside Turkey as of the time of this article. Things can change at any time. So, be sure to check with the VPN provider you are considering to ensure their service still works in the country.
The following 5 VPN service providers offer the best protection and enhancement for your online activities while residing in or visiting Turkey. The TL;DR version is as follows:
- NordVPN: This top VPN provider delivers reliable protection for all of your online activities on all of your connected devices while offering lightning-fast connection speeds and optimal privacy protections.
- Surfshark: Budget-minded Turks who are looking for excellent VPN protection at a reasonable price will want to take a closer look at this low-price leader. It offers comprehensive online protection and an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance without breaking the bank.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN’s high-speed connections, powerful content-unblocking ability, and extensive global server coverage make it a great option for streamers who want to access international content.
- PrivateVPN: This provider’s global server network comes up a bit short when compared to many other VPN services, but it does a good job of placing its servers around the globe. The provider’s speedy connections do an optimal job of delivering any type of online content.
- VyprVPN: This provider offers an extra bit of privacy, thanks to a self-owned and -operated global server network that keeps third-party contractors away from your personal data. Plus, the provider’s custom “Chameleon” protocol helps hide your VPN activity from government monitors.
When ranking the top 5 VPN providers, I considered the following factors:
- Hasn’t been blocked in Turkey
- Global server locations with servers in Turkey
- Strong security and user privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Native app support
- Customer support features
Here is my list of the 5 best VPN service providers for Turkish residents and visitors.
NordVPN delivers the top online protection and enhancement for online users in Turkey.
NordVPN’s global server count of 5,200+ servers in 60 countries (including Turkey) is certainly wide, and it provides reliable access to geo-blocked content in many locations around the world. The provider is currently in the process of moving its global server network to a completely owned-and-operated model.
Online security is well-covered thanks to the provider’s use of military-grade encryption, as well as a kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. Malware and ad blocking are also available in many of NordVPN’s apps. A Double VPN feature can route your connection through two VPN servers, doubling your anonymity.
Privacy protection at NordVPN is also top-notch thanks to its proven no-server-logs policy and an uber-private cryptocurrency subscription payment option. All NordVPN servers are run only from RAM, with no data whatsoever ever being written to a physical hard drive. This means all data is completely wiped from the server whenever it is rebooted.
Depending on your usual speeds, you’ll be able to enjoy HD videos, online gaming, file sharing, and more with NordVPN’s connection speeds, which are some of the fastest I’ve ever seen. And, you never have to worry about data caps of any kind.
App support is a high point for this VPN, with offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS (with native M1 Mac support), and Windows device platforms. Protection options also include Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, as well as compatibility with numerous routers. Up to 6 devices can connect at once on the same login.
Customer support is available around the clock thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, and a support library.
- Servers in 60 countries, including Turkey
- Super-fast speeds
- Supports most popular device platforms
- Multi-year subscription pricing is quite attractive
- Comprehensive privacy and advanced security measures
- Apps aren’t extremely user-friendly
BEST VPN FOR TURKEY:Turkish residents and visitors will appreciate NordVPN’s industry-best online protection. The provider’s speeds, the best around, will give you fast access to content around the globe. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
This is the “budget” VPN option on this list thanks to the provider’s budget-friendly multi-year subscription options.
Surfshark offers 3,200+ servers in 65+ countries, including Turkey. The provider claims it offers access to 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
Surfshark protects its customers’ online activities with banking-grade advanced encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Ad and cookie blocking can also be enabled. In addition, a “Multi-Hop” server option routes your internet connection through two VPN servers to offer double encryption and anonymity.
Privacy protections include a private Bitcoin subscription payment option and a strict no-server-logs policy.
Surfshark is tops in the download speeds column, providing more than enough bandwidth for HD streaming, gaming, and downloading large files. No data caps, more fun!
The provider has most popular devices covered thanks to app offerings for the Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS (native M1 Mac support), Windows, and Amazon Fire device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is router protection. A somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections allowance should prove attractive to small businesses or heads of Brady Bunch-like families.
24/7 live agent chat, a contact form, and a searchable knowledge base make up the provider’s around-the-clock support.
- Super low pricing
- “Multi-Hop” VPN option offers double anonymity protection
- Unlimited parallel connections allowance
- Fast downloads
- Apps lack advanced features
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark's low-priced multi-year subscription options will make the provider an attractive option for many users. In addition to a low price, the provider offers unlimited simultaneous connections allowance and above-average security and privacy protections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN performs at a reliably high level in multiple areas at once: wide-ranging global server network, speedy connections, and above-average content-unblocking power, which make it a solid option for Turks who like to stream international content.
The provider’s comprehensive global server network offers more than 3,000 servers located in Turkey and 94+ other countries. The servers offer reliable access to geo-blocked local content around the globe. The servers work great from inside of Turkey.
Online travels are kept undercover by the provider’s military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. A split-tunneling feature allows users to select which apps will use the provider’s encrypted tunnel of protection. The provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol offers improved security and performance.
As for privacy, a strict no-server-logs policy and a Bitcoin subscription payment option have things covered. Plus, the provider’s “TrustedServer” technology writes data to the server’s RAM, never the hard drive, so all data stored on the server is completely wiped each time the server is rebooted.
This provider supplies enough speed for HD streaming, online gaming, and sharing of large files. (Your speeds will vary according to your usual connection speeds.) No data caps to ruin the party here.
You can use just about any connected device with ExpressVPN, as the provider offers apps for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, and Windows devices.
Browser sessions are well protected due to the provider’s Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions. Plus, comprehensive router compatibility keeps all of your other connected devices protected. Up to 5 devices can connect at once on a single set of login credentials.
Always-available customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket system, email support, and a searchable knowledge base.
- Servers around the globe and inside of Turkey
- Fast download speeds
- Reliable access to most geo-blocked content
- Complete privacy and advanced security
- More expensive than many other VPN services
- Limit of 5 simultaneous connections
OPTIMAL FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN boasts fast connections, the ability to unblock streaming services around the globe, comprehensive app support and a large server network, making it a great choice for streaming international content. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
PrivateVPN is a study in highs and lows. While the provider performs quite well in many service categories, it comes up short in others.
Global server coverage is one of the lows when it comes to this provider, as it has only 200+ servers in action. It should be noted that the provider does a good job of spreading the servers around, as it has them placed in 58+ countries, including Turkey.
A strong point for the provider is its maximum security protections. PrivateVPN uses government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. In addition, a proprietary “Stealth VPN” option disguises your VPN activity, making it hard for restrictive countries like Turkey to detect your VPN usage.
Privacy is also a high point thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs policy and a private Bitcoin payment option.
PrivateVPN scores well in the connection speeds department, providing high-speed connections suitable for HD streaming, fast-moving online games, and sharing large files. No data caps to worry about with this provider.
App support comes up a bit short, but it may be enough for many users, as apps are available for the “big 4” platforms, with offerings available for the Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows platforms. Manual setup instructions are available for using the service with Linux devices.
Browser extensions are not available, but you can use router features to protect all of your connected devices. Up to 6 devices can connect concurrently using the same login credentials.
Although the provider claims that 24/7 support chat is available, I have often visited its website only to find the chat balloon is red, indicating no one is manning the chat function. However, you do always have the option of email support and an FAQ help section.
- Speedy connections
- Stealth VPN feature disguises your VPN usage
- Up to 6 connections at one time
- Thin global server coverage
- App support is also lacking
THE “STEALTHY” VPN PROVIDER:PrivateVPN absolutely offers highs and lows when it comes to VPN service, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. The provider’s Stealth VPN feature and fast connections offer reliable protection for all of your online activities. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
VyprVPN offers VPN protection comparable to any provider on this list, then takes its privacy protection one step further.
The provider’s self-owned and -operated global server network is made up of over 700 servers in 55+ countries, including Turkey. This is where the extra bit of privacy comes in. Since VyprVPN controls its own server network, it keeps third-party contractors away from your personal data.
VyprVPN’s connections are protected by military-level encryption, a kill switch, and custom DNS settings that prevent DNS leaks. The provider’s “Chameleon” proprietary OpenVPN protocol is designed to mask your VPN traffic.
VyprVPN follows a fully-audited no-logs policy on all of its servers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, so you’ll have to pay for your subscription using PayPal or a credit card.
VyprVPN’s fast connection speeds measure in at somewhere near the middle of the pack, but can easily handle most any internet activity. Data caps are non-existent.
VyprVPN native app support includes offerings for the Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, and Windows platforms. No browser extensions are to be found. Compatibility with numerous routers protects all of your connected devices.
Up to 30 devices can connect to the service at once using a single set of user credentials.
Customer support is available around the clock thanks to 24/7 support chat, email support, a support contact form, and a searchable support library.
- Good download speeds
- Top-notch online security
- Owns and operates its server farms
- More expensive than many other VPNs
- No browser extensions
PROPRIETARY SERVER NETWORK:VyprVPN’s proprietary server network adds a layer of added privacy, as it keeps third-party contractors away from your information. The provider’s “Chameleon” protection helps mask your VPN activities. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of VyprVPN.
Why Not Use a Free VPN?
Using a free VPN is a bad idea in any country, but in a country like Turkey, where the government frowns on VPN use and blocks numerous VPN providers, using a free VPN is downright foolish.
Free VPNs simply do not offer sufficient online protection for use in Turkey. There is little that is private when using a free Virtual Private Network.
Free VPNs monitor their users’ online travels. They do this because even a free VPN needs to keep the lights on, and information about online activity is a valuable commodity they can sell to advertisers and other nosy parties. (This could include the Turkish government, so there goes your privacy.)
Other free VPNs have been caught inserting tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browsing sessions. (And those browser cookies stick around even after you’re disconnected from the VPN’s network.)
You’re also going to be disappointed with a free VPN’s convenience and performance.
When you first connect to a free VPN, you may find yourself cooling your heels with other free VPN users in a virtual waiting room (6 virtual feet apart, of course), waiting until you’re given the green light to connect to a server.
Once you’re given the high sign to connect, you may then find that your selection of VPN servers is severely limited, or even worse, that you’re automatically assigned to a server of your provider’s choice. (So much for internet access to geo-blocked content around the globe.)
Once you’ve fought your way through the above virtual hazards, you’ll likely find that your connection speeds are suffering greatly. That’s because VPN providers throttle free users’ connections to preserve bandwidth for paying users. They also place daily or monthly data caps on free use, making a freebie VPN a bad choice for streaming and gaming.
Does any of this sound like a good idea? I’d rather spend a few bucks per month and not worry about any of the issues I’ve listed above.
What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
A Virtual Private Network is absolutely the best way to protect and enhance all of your online activities.
A VPN protects your internet travels by encasing your connection in a protective tunnel of strong encryption. This hides your online activities from the prying eyes of the government, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and hackers, all of which would love to see what you’re up to online.
VPN encryption protects you when you’re connected to an unprotected public WiFi hotspot like those found in hotels, airports, coffee shops, and other public locations. Most public hotspots don’t require a password to connect, making it easier for users to connect. Unfortunately, this means there is a lack of encryption, making it easier for hackers to monitor you.
This makes public WiFi users an enticing target for the bad guys, as they can silently watch while you shop and bank online, giving them the chance to harvest valuable personal information, such as credit card and bank account numbers. By using a VPN, no one can observe your online activity, protecting you and your personal info.
That same protective layer of encryption prevents your ISP from watching you online and from throttling or blocking your connection if they discover you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities like sharing files via P2P or viewing video from certain streaming services.
A VPN also opens access to literally a world of great content that you might normally be blocked from. A VPN does this by “spoofing” your geographical location.
A device’s IP address identifies it on the internet, much like your home address identifies it for the mail service. And, like a mailing address, an IP address can also be used to identify the device’s geographical location.
A VPN can temporarily assign a new IP address to your entire device, making it appear as if it is in another region of the world, opening internet access to geo-blocked local content in that area.
Residents of Turkey as well as visitors to the country will appreciate a Virtual Private Network’s ability to protect and enhance all of their online travels while inside Turkish borders.
My #1 choice for optimal VPN protection is NordVPN.
NordVPN offers excellent performance in every important VPN service category.
A comprehensive global network of servers delivers speedy, well-encrypted connections that provide reliable internet access to geo-blocked content around the globe. The provider offers apps for all popular device platforms, and their 24/7 customer support is always there if you need it.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
Turkish VPN FAQ
Will I Get a Local IP Address From Turkey With a VPN?
You can get a local IP address from Turkey by subscribing to a VPN service that has not been blocked in Turkey and that has servers located inside Turkish borders, like the ones in this article. Then you simply need to start up the VPN app and connect to a VPN server inside of Turkey. This will open access to geo-blocked local content inside of Turkey.
Is a VPN Easy to Set Up in Turkey?
Yes. When you subscribe to a VPN provider, you’ll have access to their app downloads. As long as your VPN of choice offers a native app for your favorite device, you simply download and install the app on your device, run it, enter your username and password, and you’re ready to go.
Can I Keep My VPN on All the Time When I Visit Turkey?
In a country like Turkey, where the government continues to crack down on internet freedom, I strongly suggest leaving your VPN connected at all times. That way, you won’t forget to turn it on and risk leaving your online travels open to monitoring, and you won’t reveal your true IP address.
- How to Use a VPN in Turkey
- Best VPN Service Providers for Use in Turkey
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. PrivateVPN
- 5. VyprVPN
- Why Not Use a Free VPN?
- What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
- Turkish VPN FAQ
- Will I Get a Local IP Address From Turkey With a VPN?
- Is a VPN Easy to Set Up in Turkey?
- Can I Keep My VPN on All the Time When I Visit Turkey?