Using a VPN in Turkey is essential if you want to be able to access all the websites you usually take for granted. All internet traffic in the country passes through state-controlled Turk Telecom, meaning the government can monitor everything you do online.
Very few providers still work consistently in Turkey following recent crackdowns on VPN traffic, so we’re constantly monitoring all of our top picks to ensure they provide quick, reliable access in the country.
The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Turkey
- Servers in Turkey and its neighboring countries
- Additional obfuscation tools to beat the censors
- Excellent worldwide speeds
- Useful privacy features
- Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
- Well-designed and easy to use apps
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services for Turkey
How We Picked the Best Turkey VPN of 2019
Our top picks for Turkey must work reliably within the country to overcome government censorship measures and access blocked content. We look for excellent performance in our worldwide speed tests, taking into consideration the limitations caused by Turkish internet blocks and the availability of nearby server locations.
We’re continually testing all of our choices to keep them as up-to-date as possible. We check compatibility with popular sites such as Netflix, iPlayer, Facebook and YouTube, as well as many others. We even test out the VPN apps on a range of devices so we know what they’re really like to use.
Do I Need a VPN in Turkey?
The only way you’ll be able to access popular sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, and even messaging apps such as WhatsApp, is through a VPN. All Turkish web traffic is routed through servers operated by state-run Turk Telecom, with the government blocking any kinds of sites it doesn’t approve of.
The Turkish government is also known for snooping on peoples’ online activity, and is even thought to capture usernames and passwords, along with IP addresses and complete browsing histories. Turkish ISPs are also required to store customer connection logs for up to two years.
While using a VPN isn’t technically illegal in Turkey, the government has seriously cracked down on VPN traffic in recent months. If you do use a VPN in Turkey, try to be discreet about it, and make sure you comply with Turkish laws whatever you’re doing online.
How to Choose a VPN for Turkey: 8 Tips
The VPN situation in Turkey is in constant flux, so you need to be sure the provider you choose can offer a reliable level of service. Even the best VPNs are in a constant game of cat and mouse with the government as they systematically try to block them, so they can be working one day and not the next. We try to keep this page updated as much as we can, but it’s worth considering getting a back up VPN if access is critical while you’re in Turkey.
We know Turkey is blocking some VPNs, so it’s vital that your VPN offers some kind of stealth protocol to make it more difficult for them to do this. These proprietary protocols provide additional layers of obfuscation to disguise the VPN traffic as normal web traffic, therefore making it easier to bypass censorship and access blocked content. This kind of information can often be buried in the FAQs on the provider websites, to look to our top picks to call this out.
The closer the VPN server to your physical location, the better the performance. Internet blocks in Turkey can cause the internet to be slow at the best of times, but you can mitigate this by choosing a VPN with a server in Turkey (or at the very least, in a neighboring country such as Greece or Bulgaria).
Mobile signal dropouts are pretty frequent in Turkey and manually reconnecting every time gets annoying fairly quickly.
Almost all VPN software will work on Windows, Mac and Linux machines, along with iOS and Android mobile devices. You need to think about what devices you’re going to be using the VPN on in Turkey and make sure your chosen provider is compatible with all of these.
There’s not much point finding a VPN provider that works in Turkey if it’s not going to help you access your favorite apps and websites. If you like using streaming services such as Netflix or iPlayer, not all providers will do the job, so be sure to check out our reviews to make sure.
No-one likes a clunky, confusing app. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, simple and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it every day. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so hopefully we know a thing or two!
Even the most expensive VPN plans are very affordable but you will likely have a budget in mind. 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing a VPN with a long refund period, preferably 30 days and with no questions asked. These guarantees are much more common than traditional free trials but are essentially the same thing.