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Best VPNs for Turkey [2021]

Updated: July 12, 2021 By Dean Chester

Open internet access and online privacy in Turkey took a serious blow in 2016. A new law by President Erdogan mandated that internet service providers (ISPs) should block access to anyone using a VPN or other anonymity service. We have tested and compared the dozens of available VPN services to find the top 10 best VPN services for Turkey that give you the best access, while keeping you fully protected from government snooping.

VPN for Turkey
For Turkey more than for many other countries it is necessary to opt into using the right VPN. What is the right VPN, you might ask?

It’s the one that:

  • Won’t leak your data to anyone no matter what.
  • Will protect your browsing reliably from hacker and other assorted attacks.
  • Will perform other tasks.

However, to find such a service on one’s own is a difficult task. Many shoddy providers try to capitalize on people’s demand for internet privacy and put up unreliable VPNs - which sometimes, can’t even count as such.

Using such a poor service can be dangerous to any person, but especially to those who live under oppressive regimes such as Erdogan’s.

To prevent this from happening, we have compiled, based on our year-long research, a list of the best VPNs to use in Turkey. One part of it consists of the best VPNs hands-down. These are the providers that we guarantee are safe to use. The other half of the list provides 5 free services that, while not as all-encompassingly powerful, still can give you some protection.

With that in mind, let’s get going!

Table of contents:

 
5 best VPNs for Turkey
  1. ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is our number one choice of the best VPN for Turkey. It offers superior performance and reliability while maintaining privacy with solid security. ExpressVPN truly stands out when it comes to streaming and accessibility of all the major services including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
  2. NordVPN: Coming in second place for the best VPN services for Turkey, NordVPN has the complete package. It boasts a strong collection of features for securing your online activities and an impressive global network of servers.
  3. Surfshark: A very solid VPN service, Surfshark offers some features that are especially useful for netizens in Turkey, the most advantageous one being its Shadowsocks protocol. Apart from that, this VPN provides great security and speeds to match.
  4. CyberGhost VPN: A good-value VPN for Turkey. It is user-friendly with fast servers and the ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming sites.
  5. Private Internet Access: : We like PIA because it is torrent-friendly, doesn’t require a login and there are plenty of servers worldwide to connect to. It is fast and configurable, offering a good balance of power and performance.
 
free VPNs for Turkey
  1. ProtonVPN: Unlimited traffic and good security.
  2. Windscribe: 10 Gb per month, sort of slow.
  3. Hide.me: 2 Gb per month, 3-4 countries available.
  4. HotspotShield: 500 Mb per day, inconvenient terms on some platforms.
  5. TunnelBear: 500 to 1500 Mb per month, nice design.

Recommendation: Don’t hesitate to try out several VPNs before opting for one. Additionally, we have several comparison articles like this one.

A short overview of the Internet in Turkey

Turkey is notorious for its strict censorship laws, network throttling, and website filtering. Social media networks like Twitter and foreign news sites are frequently blocked or disrupted. Content that is critical of the government regime and Islam or promoting “obscenity” (which includes LGBT content and any websites with words deemed to be sexual in their titles) is actively censored.

Over the last years, government crackdowns on independent bloggers and critical journalists have become more frequent and severe. Campaigning against the government and accessing prohibited sites, can cost you your job or even land you in jail. 

Furthermore, in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, a new legislative environment has given government agencies more internet surveillance powers. This led to the 2017 Freedom of the Net report by international watchdog Freedom House classifying Turkey’s internet status as “Not Free”.

The combination of censorship and government monitoring bring severe consequences for citizens, bloggers, journalists and political opponents to the current regime. Several national protests since 2010 have made the situation worse, highlighting issues of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and laws encroaching on state secularism.

President Erdogan has called social media a “menace” for its supposed role in protests and the degradation of morals among younger generations. Many Turkish secular and opposition news sites shut down after the failed coup in 2016.

Raids of newspapers, mass firings, and detention of anyone seen to be sympathetic to the opposition followed restrictions of services like Facebook, Twitter, Tor and Wikipedia.  After the 2018 elections, these restrictions were partly softened and access to social networks and Wikipedia from Turkey was restored.

Sites blocked in Turkey after the 2016 attempted coup

However, ISPs continue to restrict VPNs and anonymity networks like Tor.  With legislation on information access and censorship changing constantly in Turkey, it is imperative to keep your online activity safe and secure.

A Virtual Private Network for Turkey is the best way to overcome all government-imposed censorship. Whether you are traveling to Turkey for business or holiday or live there, a VPN can help you stay secure and anonymous online. Concealing your IP address with a VPN masks your identity, keeping your online activity from being monitored.

A good VPN service in Turkey provides encryption as well. This way all your sensitive data - passwords, credit card details, etc. – is kept safe from hackers, IPS, and the government. It also protects your data from being hacked by anybody exploiting the KRACK vulnerability found in many routers.

There are several things you should take into account when searching for the right VPN for Turkey. Encryption protocols are a high priority, as are things like server speed, logging policies, and encryption features exclusive to certain VPNs.

Good VPN for Turkey must…

The top VPNs for Turkey we have selected have been compared against dozens others based on the following criteria to give you a detailed overview of available options and their benefits:

Logging policy

A VPN’s logging policy determines the strength of your online privacy. If the VPN service provider stores records of your activity, that information can be matched to your account. If no logs are kept, your data can never be leaked.

Reputation

Reputation is another critical component when looking for a reliable VPN. It is always better to go with a company that’s well-established and has a proven record of protecting the data and privacy of its users. Some VPNs have made a bad name for themselves for reselling user data to third parties.

Security features

While you may not necessarily need certain features, it’s always better to have them and don’t need them than to need them and not have them. Security features like DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch are great additions as they keep your physical location a secret. Given the political landscape of Turkey, VPNs that go the extra mile in the name of privacy are good to have.

Jurisdiction

It matters where a VPN company is registered as it can impact user privacy. Based on local regulations, some VPNs may be required to keep hidden data logs. Others must share information with government agencies without notifying users. The safest VPNs are based in countries with no data retention regulations.

Five best VPNs for Turkey

On this list, you will find the hands-down best services to be used in Turkey. However, if you don’t have time for a detailed description of each one, you can make use of this table:

Characteristics of the best VPNs for Turkey


Service Speed, Mbps Country selection Number of servers Price (monthly)
ExpressVPN >100 94 3000+ $6.67-12.95
NordVPN >60 59 5400+ $3.30-11.95
Surfshark >50 63 1700+ $2.49-12.95
CyberGhost 40-70 90 6000+ $2.25-12.99
PIA >50 74 23000+ $2.69-9.95

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

Main advantages:

  • High-speed connections
  • Suitable for streaming
  • Strong security features
  • Anonymous registration

Overview

ExpressVPN is the best choice of a VPN service for Turkey. While it is not the cheapest provider, ExpressVPN is well worth every cent. It boasts over 3000 servers in 148 locations across 94 countries for fast, reliable connections from Turkey. During our trial, ExpressVPN stood out as one of the few providers that reliably bypassed Internet censorship in Turkey as well as China and Saudi Arabia (check which VPN actually works in Saudi Arabia).

Price

ExpressVPN plans and prices


  1 month 6 months 1 year
Price (monthly) $12.95 $9.99 $6.67
Money-back guarantee​ 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • Unblocks every streaming service
  • Slightly more expensive than competitors

 

ExpressVPN Preview
Make use of beneficial features of this VPN for Turkey: P2P servers, kill switch, etc.

 

ExpressVPN for Turkey

Read more:

NordVPN
NordVPN

Main advantages:

  • Excellent unblocking ability
  • Largest server network
  • No-logs policy
  • Cheap 1-year plan

Overview

NordVPN is our number two choice of VPN for Turkey. A top-rated VPN, it offers strong security features, such as Tor over VPN, Double VPNs, and anti-DDoS connections. A unique feature of NordVPN is that it allows up to six simultaneous connections, and a great value for money. There is no login required as the company is based in Panama–far outside the jurisdiction of governments that track the Internet traffic of their citizens and visitors.

Price

NordVPN plans and prices


  1 month 1 year 3 years
Price (monthly) $11.95 $4.92 $3.30
(2021 Summer promotion)
Money-back guarantee​ 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Slow connection speed for desktop app

 

NordVPN Preview
Protect all devices with a top VPN service

 

NordVPN for Turkey

Read more:

Surfshark
Surfshark

Main advantages:

  • Great security
  • Super-low price
  • VPN obfuscation
  • Good speeds

Overview

Surfshark is an excellent VPN to use in Turkey. There are more than a few reasons for that: its strong security, superb affordability, great speeds, and additional features make it a very strong contender for the first place of this list. However, Surfshark doesn’t have as many servers across the world as NordVPN does – at least, for now.

Price

Surfshark plans and prices


  1 month 6 months 2 years
Price (monthly) $12.95 $6.49 $2.49
Money-back guarantee​ 30 30 30

Conclusion

  • Not the best free trial
  • Server park a bit lacking

 

Surfshark Preview
Switch between 1700+ fast VPN servers in 63 countries

 

Surfshark for Turkey

Read more:

CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN

Main advantages:

  • Ideal for HD streaming
  • Up to seven devices simultaneously
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Nice features

Overview

CyberGhost VPN does not log user activity and it does not track the identity of the users connected to a given server. This provides a complete layer of privacy when you’re browsing from a country with a repressive Internet policy like Turkey. The company behind the VPN service monitors server CPU load, available memory, the amount of server bandwidth used, and other metadata but that’s about all. What’s even more – CyberGhost VPN is among the GDPR compliant VPN providers for its transparent data collection procedures.

Price

CyberGhost VPN plans and prices


  1 month 1 year 2 years 3 years
Price (monthly) $12.95 $3.99 $3.49 $2.25
Money-back guarantee​ 45 45 45 45

Conclusion

  • Few options for advanced users
  • Higher price

 

Cyberghost for Turkey

Read more:

PIA
Private Internet Access

Main advantages:

  • Many advanced settings
  • Biggest server park ever
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for advanced users

Overview

PIA is the most rapidly growing VPN service in the world as of this year. It started its speedy increase in the number of servers back in 2020 - quite unexpectedly to most people, myself included. Now it has more of them than all the other services on this list combined - no mean feat to be sure!

Price

PIA plans and prices


  1 month 1 year 2 years
Price (monthly) $9.95 $3.33 $2.69
Money-back guarantee​ 7 7 7

Conclusion

  • Very technical without being too complex
  • Big and strong

 

PIA for Turkey

Read more:

Five free VPNs for Turkey

And now we come to the question of free VPNs. It is not an easy one, admittedly: on the one hand, free stuff can be very useful and tempting. On the other hand, however, they can also be dangerous - if the people behind them decide to leak your private data to your government or other parties that have no business having it.

We did our best to find five okay free VPNs that do not do creepy stuff like that. Here they

Warning: Even though the VPNs you are about to see are not doing anything morally wrong with your data (at least to our knowledge), they are still nowhere near as good as their paid analogs. If you want to be able to unblock streaming services and the like with your VPN, unfortunately, the only option for you is to pay up - unless you don’t want to pirate a cracked version of a good VPN, of course.

ProtonVPN logo
ProtonVPN

Our advice is to opt into getting a free ProtonVPN, as it doesn’t restrict your traffic usage like all the other free services do.

Windscribe logo
Windscribe

With 10 Gb of traffic per month, Windscribe is a not-too-bad VPN. 10 Gb isn’t that much, but you can manage to do something with them.

Hide.me logo
Hide.me

As we go down on our list, so too we go down in terms of how much traffic is allowed. Hide.me will only hide you within a 2-Gb limit.

Hotspot Shield logo
HotspotShield

Unlike the previous two services that reset your traffic counter once a month, HotspotShield does it daily - but only grants you 500 Mb each time.

TunnelBear logo
TunnelBear

TunnelBear might just have the nicest design of all services including the paid ones, but its data cap is just 500 Mb a month - which is roughly 30 times as low as an already law limit of HotspotShield.

FAQ

? Is it safe to use a VPN at my work?

Although a good VPN won’t betray you no matter where you’re using it, at your workplace - that is, if you work from office, and not remotely - someone may notice you doing so. Nothing will happen if it’s your friend or someone you can trust, but sadly, there are cases when people make enemies at work. So please be careful.

? I want to travel to another town in Turkey. Will my VPN work there?

Of course. It doesn’t matter where you connect to it from.

? Is it a good idea to use a VPN for online gambling?

We’d argue that it’s not a good idea to gamble online at all - but hey, who are we to judge you, right? So if you feel like you absolutely must try your fortune this way, yes, use a VPN to make it harder for anyone to know your real identity - that is unless the site you’re on requires you to provide something like a scan of your ID to sign up. Which is very much not a good idea.

Also read:

Senior Researcher
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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