ExpressVPN proved to be the most reliable VPN in Turkey.
It allows you to unblock any desired website or streaming service, like Netflix.
I was physically located in Turkey, so it was critical for me to find the best VPN there.
After days of drinking chai and testing the features of plenty of providers, I found ExpressVPN to be the one because of its great trajectory and performance in circumventing censorship.
Surfshark’s privacy settings and NordVPN’s unique set of security features are worth considering for use in Turkey.
Keep reading to find the best VPN for you!
Top 3 VPNs for Turkey
Surfshark offers two obfuscation features for Turkish users, one is lightweight, fast, and automatically applied, the other is heavier but ensures no one will ever know you’re using a VPN. You’ll also enjoy one of the best ad-blockers in the market (CleanWeb)!
ExpressVPN offers military-grade privacy and security by default without sacrificing speed. But where ExpressVPN shines is its ability to unblock all popular websites and streaming platforms – including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ (and local Turkish shows when traveling abroad)!
NordVPN offers 5,300+ RAM-only servers (8 in Turkey) with unique security features, such as Onion over VPN and Double VPN,
that ensure Turkish users remain invisible to their government and ISP at all times. You’ll also enjoy NordVPN performance in unblocking popular websites and streaming services!
More than 130,000 websites were blocked in Turkey in 2019 and things are only getting worse.
A new law passed in 2020 that forces Social Media companies to store user data, remove content, and slow bandwidth at the government’s demand.
Several VPN providers are also blocked!
This is why you need the best VPN for privacy and security – so you don’t end up in jail like several bloggers and independent journalists.
At the same time, the chosen VPN needs to unblock a wide range of websites and any that might be blocked in the future.
Speed is also relevant, considering that the Turkish internet isn’t the fastest in the world.
Uploading your last travel photos to the cloud can take hours!
Believe me, it happened to me a week ago.
Find in the following sections the 5 VPN services which cover the mentioned features and more!
5 Best VPNs for Turkey
Here are the chosen ones:
- ExpressVPN – Best overall for Turkey & streaming international series and local content with its Turkish server in Istanbul.
- Surfshark – Best for privacy. No one will know you are using a VPN in Turkey.
- NordVPN – Unique set of security features to be protected from surveillance.
- VyprVPN – Fastest in Turkey & best price.
- CyberGhost – More Turkish servers to access local content when abroad.
Join me for an in-depth analysis of each VPN service and find the one better fitting your needs in or out of Turkey.
Detailed List of the 5 Best VPNs for Turkey
The following analysis focuses on the key areas that a VPN service should cover for Turkey, such as privacy, security, and unblocking content.
I also performed some speed tests.
For reference, here’s my speed without any VPN.
1. ExpressVPN – Best Overall & for Streaming in Turkey
ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
It’s also one of the few VPN providers that have RAM-only servers.
That means your data is erased every time the server reboots and no logs are ever stored.
And like the other providers on my list, ExpressVPN’s no-logs claims were audited and verified.
But ExpressVPN has an edge.
Their claims showed trustworthiness in a court case in Turkey!
Obfuscation is provided by default on all servers (we re-checked with customer support), and it’s proven to work even to bypass the big firewall of China.
That means you’ll be able to access any website in Turkey, like WikiLeaks or Pastebin!
Security in ExpressVPN’s service is top-notch, guaranteed for all protocols.
It offers a proprietary protocol named Lightway for enhanced efficiency and speeds – very important if you’re dealing with Turkey’s slow internet speeds!
A low point is that this provider doesn’t offer an ad-blocker or anti-malware.
These are important to avoid trackers stealing your information while browsing in Turkey.
But probably the most shining side of this provider (and why it deserves the first position) is its incomparable capability of unblocking all popular streaming platforms, like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.
You’ll be able to watch all your favorite international series from Turkey!
ExpressVPN also offers a virtual server in Turkey, so you can watch your favorite Turkish shows (like Aşk) without a problem!
At the time of writing, ExpressVPN’s websites aren’t blocked in Turkey.
That’s another edge compared to several other VPN providers, including some on my list like NordVPN and VyprVPN which work irregularly.
I was surprised by the results of my speed tests.
I was expecting ExpressVPN to be one of the fastest, but in the end, it showed to be the slowest in my tests in Turkey (even though it doesn’t have a slow speed).
Regarding price, ExpressVPN is the most expensive on my list.
But, like most of the other providers, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here you can sign-up with a nice discount.
2. Surfshark – Best for Privacy
Surfshark is a very close runner-up.
It offers 3,200+ servers in 65 countries, and they are also RAM-only.
Surfshark was independently audited, and the last time was in 2021!
That means you can browse safely in Turkey.
Your data won’t be stored anywhere.
But one of the highest points of Surfshark is its obfuscation features.
It offers Camouflage, a lightweight obfuscation mode that’s great for circumventing censorship and staying protected from Turkish agencies snooping around for your data.
Camouflage mode is enabled by default when you use the OpenVPN protocol.
Additionally, the No Borders feature provides even more privacy protection to bypass the most advanced surveillance systems, meaning your confidential information will be protected in Turkey!
On the security side, Surfshark offers CleanWeb, probably the best ad-blocker and anti-malware in the market.
This feature is very important to avoid third-party companies’ trackers having access to your personal information in Turkey.
Surfshark also works quite well for unblocking content and streaming.
And it offers a server in Istanbul if you want to watch TV like in Turkey.
You can access TRT, TV8, ShowTV, PuhuTV, BluTV, and more!
However, they are nowadays having problems working with Netflix.
One more plus, Surfshark isn’t blocked in Turkey, so you can access its webpage and services without a problem.
On my speed tests, Surfshark scored better than ExpressVPN, but just that.
Another strong point of Surfshark is that it allows you to connect unlimited devices with one subscription.
Enough for you and all your family.
In this area, Surfshark beats all the other VPNs on this list, and by far!
Surfshark is also good for your wallet, especially its 2-year plan:
Here is another discount for you.
3. NordVPN – Best Set of Security Features
NordVPN has a fleet of 5,200+ RAM-only servers in 65 countries.
Having a big offer of servers to choose from means it’s less likely they’ll be overloaded, so you’ll enjoy great speeds when using a VPN in Turkey.
And like ExpressVPN, it offers its own proprietary protocol with enhanced security and speed – NordLynx.
But primarily, NordVPN earns its spot on my list because of its unique security and privacy features.
These features are especially useful if you need to blog securely in Turkey!
NordVPN also comes with CyberSec, a built-in ad-blocker, and anti-malware.
That will protect you from internet tracking while browsing in Turkey.
Its Specialty Servers offer obfuscation, which is an important feature to bypass censorship.
NordVPN also works quite well for unblocking your favorite streaming platforms and offers 8 servers in Turkey to access local content when abroad like Digiturk Bein and BluTV.
Unfortunately, it seems NordVPN is a target of the Turkish government, as its websites are sometimes blocked.
Finally, NordVPN scored a middle-table position on my speed tests.
But it offers better pricing than ExpressVPN and Surfshark for 1-month and 1-year plans.
Do you want to have an even better price?
4. VyprVPN – Fastest & Best Price
VyprVPN offers only 700+ servers in 70 countries.
It’s the only VPN in this list that doesn’t have RAM-only servers.
But it also has a no-logs policy proven by independent audits, last time in 2019.
This provider offers Chameleon, a proprietary protocol for obfuscation that works great even in China, so it’s assured to perform flawlessly in Turkey!
Additionally, all servers are protected by NAT firewall, and anti-malware is included.
VyprVPN assures robust security with all of your connections in Turkey.
As for streaming, all servers are optimized.
You won’t have any problem watching Netflix with VyprVPN.
One of VyprVPN’s servers is in Turkey.
So maybe you won’t be able to find ayran or sarma while traveling abroad, but at least you’ll be able to watch your favorite series on ATV!
Unfortunately, VyprVPN is sometimes blocked in Turkey.
But the more remarkable point about VyprVPN is its speed in Turkey.
On my tests, it got to the top position, and even by a margin!
Another side to highlight is that VyprVPN allows you 30 simultaneous connections, the second-best in this topic for the VPN providers on my list!
That means you can be streaming Turkish Basketbol Süper Ligi on your PC and scrolling through the last news on your phone, while your family is also enjoying a secure internet connection!
And finally, VyprVPN also offers the best deals!
Its 2-month plan has prices comparable to the ones of ExpressVPN for a one-year subscription.
VyprVPN’s 3-year plan is the most affordable of all by a difference.
Check here for an even better deal!
5. CyberGhost – The Best for Turkish Servers
CyberGhost offers 7327+ RAM-only servers in 91 countries, which allows you to access regional content for a big part of the world while drinking your Türk kahvesi in Turkey!
It has also proven its no-logs claims with independent audits, though the last one was in 2012.
In the area of privacy, CyberGhost offers the handy feature of NoSpy servers, which are located in a secured Romanian facility out of the reach of 14-eyes countries.
That means that someone sniffing your traffic in Turkey will only see the packets traveling there, and nothing else.
Security in CyberGhost is also proper.
It offers anti-malware, an ad-blocker, and even a security suite for Windows users that includes an anti-virus.
However, both privacy and security features are available only by paying an extra fee.
CyberGhost also has optimized servers for streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
They are intuitively sorted, even by the streaming platform’s name, and they work very well at unblocking content.
The highest point of CyberGhost is its Turkish servers: it provides 40, more than all the other VPN providers on my list together!
With any of them, you’ll be able to get a Turkish IP when abroad to watch the football matches of your beloved Turkish team on TRT Spor.
Or your favorite shows on TV+!
Better yet, CyberGhost’s websites were working without problems during all my tests in Turkey.
And during my speed-tests, CyberGhost got to the second position.
The provider also offers convenient pricing for the 2-year plan, and it’s the only VPN on this list offering a 45-day money-back guarantee!
But here, you can get an even better deal.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right VPN for Turkey?
With this buying guide, you’ll learn the key characteristics that a good VPN must-have in Turkey, so you can find the best one for your needs.
Security & Privacy
You need a VPN with state-of-the-art technology to be protected from mass surveillance systems.
That way, the Turkish government can’t access your private information.
It should have:
- AES 256-bit encryption, or stronger
- No leaks of any kind (IP, DNS, or WebRTC)
- A kill-switch
- A feature or special servers for obfuscation
- No-logs policy. Proven by independent audits or even better, by a court case. If the VPN service offers RAM-only servers, that’s a plus.
The VPN service should come with an ad-blocker and anti-malware to block trackers which can steal your data while browsing in Turkey.
Features like multi-hopping, TOR integrations, and modern protocols (like WireGuard) are also a big plus.
Unblocking Websites & Streaming Capabilities
The VPN you choose should be capable of bypassing online censorship to access popular websites and apps.
Not long ago, Turkish authorities blocked Facebook, Whatsapp, and other platforms.
We’ll cover that in the following sections.
Fast speeds are especially necessary if you plan on using obfuscation or special security features.
The Turkish Internet is slow, and extra protection will impact your connection negatively.
Numbers may vary a lot per country and server but take as a reference that your internet speed shouldn’t drop more than 30% with the VPN on.
The price doesn’t always reflect the quality of the service.
Analyze which features come in the basic subscription (security and reliability are essential for Turkey), the different plan fees, and how many devices you can connect with one subscription.
Have these values in mind:
- A monthly plan costs around $10/month
- A 1-year plan costs around $5/month
- VPN providers usually allow at least 5 multiple connections
- The best VPN providers include special features for security and obfuscation in their basic subscription
- Most VPN providers give a 30-day money-back guarantee
Servers in Turkey
If you plan on visiting other countries, having a VPN with servers in Turkey will help you access local content that’s blocked outside of it.
With a Turkish IP, you can:
- Stream on Netflix great Turkish movies and films like Aşk Tesadüfleri Sever 2 (I liked it more than the first one!) and Recep İvedik 6.
- Watch all the football matches of the Süper Lig on TRT Spor.
- Access Türk Bankası e-banking portal from abroad, and more!
Are you planning to use the VPN on your iOS Tablet?
Check the VPN provider has compatibility with your devices and that they offer all the relevant features for them too.
Sometimes a feature is included for one OS but not another.
Also, check the VPN service isn’t currently banned in Turkey.
Some of the most renowned VPN providers’ websites are blocked in the country.
Thereby, you won’t be able to access their resources.
You may need to download the application before arriving if you’re traveling to Turkey.
Censorship Laws in Turkey
According to the Freedom House index, the Turkish internet has the status of Not Free.
In 2007, the Internet Act of 2007 (Law No. 5651) was enacted to regulate Turkish internet space.
This Law prohibits:
- crimes against Atatürk, founder father of Republic of Turkey
- offering or promoting prostitution
- providing place and opportunity for gambling
- unauthorized online gambling and betting
- sexual abuse of children
- encouraging suicide
- supplying drugs that are dangerous for health
- facilitation of the abuse of drugs
- downloading of MP3 and movies in violation of copyright laws
- insults against state organizations and private persons
- crimes related to terrorism
- violation of trademark regulations
- unfair trade regulated under the Turkish Commercial Code
- violation of Articles 24, 25, 26, and 28 of the Constitution (freedoms of religion, expression, thought, and freedom of press)
In February 2014, the Turkish Parliament changed that law, providing legal means to enforce it.
The government stated it’s trying to fight internet crime and determine liability.
The modified law from 2014:
- allows the telecommunications authority (TIB) to block any website within 4 hours without first seeking a court ruling.
- requires internet providers to store all data on web users’ activities for two years and make it available to the authorities upon request.
There were more amendments in 2015, adding “national security” as a basis for broad access bans.
In practice, these laws have been frequently used to convict political dissidents and to block independent news sources, popular social media platforms, messenger applications, and even some VPN providers’ websites.
- In September 2017, Turkey’s Supreme Court ruled that having ByLock mobile messaging application installed on their phone is enough evidence to convict a suspect as a member of the FETÖ
- In July 2019, the Turkish independent news site Bianet was banned. It later emerged that the ban was made by accident, and only specific articles were supposed to be blocked. But 135 other independent news sites which were also blocked remained offline.
- According to data published by NetBlocks, social media platforms and messaging services were blocked in Turkey for 16 hours after the country launched airstrikes against Syria between 27 and 28 February 2020.
In 2021, the government passed a new amendment of Law No. 5651, forcing social media platforms with over one million daily users to open offices in Turkey and store user data.
That targets companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others, forcing them to comply when the government demands they remove content or even slow bandwidth.
Can I Use a Free VPN in Turkey?
If you’re concerned about your personal information, using a free VPN in Turkey (or elsewhere) isn’t a good idea.
Running a VPN service has several costs like the physical servers, webpage, offices, employees, marketing, etc.
How are these costs covered?
If the VPN service is provided for free, it may:
- be fake and full of malware
- sell your personal information
- have very limited features and/or poorly implemented security
These aren’t only assumptions.
There are many examples.
According to this 2019 paper performed by CSIRO, UNSW, ICSI, and UC Berkeley, 38% of free Android VPN apps contain Malware.
Here’s an example of one of the most popular free VPN services.
It was discovered selling users’ bandwidth for botnets.
In the less-bad scenario of a VPN service cutting corners, it may:
- have bandwidth restrictions
- offer a very limited server selection
- lack proper security. For example, using a less computationally exhaustive cryptographic protocol that is known to be vulnerable.
In 2018, a free VPN service browser extension was hacked twice in 3 months, and many users got their crypto wallets compromised.
If you need to use a free VPN, choose a freemium VPN service (a free VPN with a premium option) from a reliable provider.
A good example is ProtonVPN.
Their free version offers 17 servers in 3 countries (US, Netherlands, and Japan) and no data limits, though it’s only for one device.
Yet, the ProtonVPN free version lacks important security features (Secure Core), which are especially useful in a country enforcing censorship like Turkey.
The service provider webpage is also sometimes blocked in the country.
You can get a discount on the ProtonVPN premium version here.
Or you can get my number one VPN for Turkey here!
How to Use a VPN in Turkey? It’s Easy! Follow These Steps
Starting to use a VPN in Turkey is fast and straightforward.
- Choose the best VPN service for your needs and buy a subscription. In this example, we’ll be showing how to do it with ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device(s).
- Open the VPN app and sign in to your account.
- Click the Power button to let ExpressVPN choose the fastest server near you. Or, if you need a server from a specific country, click the … and select your preferred location.
- Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
- It’s important to verify everything is working properly!
- Enjoy! 🙂
How to Get a Turkish IP Address?
With an IP address from Turkey, you’ll be able to access local content, for example:
- your favorite series on BluTV, Puhu TV, Kanal D and more!
- the football matches of your team in TRT Sport
- the online banking webpage of your Turkish bank
And getting a Turkish IP address is also very easy!
Follow these steps:
- Choose a VPN with servers in Turkey. Here you can see how many Turkish servers each provider on my list has:
Servers in Turkey
Number of Servers
- Buy a subscription, download, install, open the VPN app, and sign in to your account. For the following steps, we’ll be showing how to do it with ExpressVPN.
- Open the servers list window clicking on … and type in the search bar Turkey.
- Click on Turkey to connect.
- Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. It’s important to verify everything is working properly!
- Enjoy local content from anywhere 🙂
How to Use a VPN to Watch Netflix US in Turkey?
To use a VPN to watch Netflix US in Turkey, follow these easy steps:
- Choose from my list of recommended VPNs (all work with Netflix) or use another one you found.
- Purchase a subscription, download the app, and sign in.
- Choose a US server. Check if any are explicitly optimized for streaming or Netflix. For ExpressVPN you won’t need to do any check as all US servers work great for Netflix US.
- Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. It’s important to verify everything is working properly!
- Navigate to the Netflix app or website.
- Enjoy 🙂
Circumventing Censorship in Turkey With Port Forwarding?
Some users on Reddit reported successfully bypassing VPN blocks in Turkey by using port forwarding.
What’s Port Forwarding?
Port forwarding is a method used to tell your router to send data through a specific port to your device’s dedicated IP, which is different from your network IP.
This also allows you to send and receive data that the network firewall usually blocks.
Turkish authorities use two methods for blocking VPNs:
- Identifying every VPN server in the world and adding it to a blacklist to be blocked by ISP’s firewalls. That’s very resource-consuming, so only some VPN providers are being targeted.
- Blocking internet traffic from traveling to and from ports that VPNs often use. The frequently used ports for VPN traffic depend on the protocol used. For example, IPSec uses ports 500 and 4500 UDP, and OpenVPN uses 1194 TCP/UDP.
One of OpenVPN’s greatest strengths is that its traffic can be forwarded to any port on the TCP and UDP range.
Port 443 is primarily used for HTTPS traffic, which is encrypted using the same algorithm as OpenVPN traffic: SSL.
That means HTTPS and OpenVPN traffic looks very similar for someone sniffing your network packages.
HTTPS is also essential for internet browsing, so authorities can’t block it.
That makes forwarding your OpenVPN traffic to port 443 TCP an attractive alternative for bypassing internet blocks in Turkey.
You can configure Port forwarding on your WiFi router.
The procedure will depend on your router’s firmware.
Here’s how to change the OpenVPN port for the VPN service in our list, VyprVPN.
Some VPN services allow performing port forwarding from within their apps.
You can read our guide to find out which are the best VPNs with built-in port forwarding.
Torrenting in Turkey
As we saw in previous sections, using a P2P file-sharing site or service to download or distribute copyright material is forbidden by Turkish (and International) law.
In practice, popular tracker websites aren’t blocked nor are authorities enforcing this law (yet).
However, if your ISP detects you’re downloading too much, they may limit your bandwidth.
To avoid problems or slow speeds, use a VPN service for torrenting in Turkey.
All the VPN services on our list offer P2P-optimized servers, unlimited bandwidth, and fast speeds.
How to Blog Securely in Turkey?
For blogging securely, you need to use a VPN service with a proven no-logs policy and robust privacy & security features.
Follow the steps in the previous sections on how to connect to your preferred VPN service.
Then, consider this checklist to verify you have the most secure configuration:
- Enable obfuscation features or connect to obfuscated servers
- Enable ad-blocker and anti-malware if available
- Verify the kill-switch is on for your entire internet connection
- Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks
What Websites Are Blocked in Turkey?
Websites showing content prohibited by law No. 5651 and, in practice, independent media articles or even posts on social media platforms.
Renowned platforms blocked in the past by Turkish authorities include:
- Facebook (and Messenger)
- Google Apps (Docs, Drive, Translate, etc.)
- Metacafe (still blocked 09/2021)
- WikiLeaks (still blocked 09/2021)
- Paypal (stopped operations in Turkey in 2016)
Others are blocked or rate-limited some days or at random times.
For example, ThePirateBay and NordVPN websites.
Are VPNs Legal in Turkey?
VPNs are legal in Turkey, but some major providers are blocked or limited.
According to Turkish authorities, the ban on some VPNs started in 2016 as a way of fighting against criminality and terrorism.
Nowadays, several VPNs are still blocked or working intermittently in Turkey.
What VPNs Are Banned in Turkey?
This is the list of VPN services that currently (09/2021) have their domains blocked:
- Hotspot Shield
- NordVPN (works irregularly)
- VyprVPN (works irregularly)
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
Can I Use TOR in Turkey?
TOR anonymous browsing network has been blocked in Turkey since 2016, as part of a set of actions by the Turkish government to “fight online crime and terrorism.”
You may use it by connecting to a VPN first.
Another option is to use a VPN that offers this setup in their features, like NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN.
Are Virtual Servers in Turkey the Same as Physical Servers?
No, a physical server is physically located in the country, while a virtual server has an IP address registered in it but is physically located somewhere else.
A virtual server is especially useful for countries with high censorship, where having a physical server may not be possible or too risky for the privacy of the information handled.
However, as the virtual server is in another location, your data will have an additional journey to where the physical server is.
That will make your connection slower than if you connected to a server nearby.
For example, NordVPN and Surfshark’s Turkish servers are physically located in Turkey.
ExpressVPN’s Turkish virtual server is located in the Netherlands.
Turkey actively blocks content, and the situation is getting worse year by year.
For that reason, you need a reliable VPN provider capable of unblocking any content.
In case you require special obfuscation, consider Surfshark.
If you need special security features and better speed, try NordVPN.
Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer better pricing than ExpressVPN.
But if you care about reliability, ExpressVPN is the provider you are looking for!
Sign-up with a monumental discount by clicking here.