The real issue is finding a VPN that works reliably. VPN restrictions are carried out via a website or a traffic block, making it difficult to find, download, and use most VPNs. I put over 30 VPNs through rigorous testing to find the best one to use in Turkey. ExpressVPN ranked 1st — it never had issues connecting, was fast, and kept my VPN use discreet. You can even try ExpressVPN risk-free, thanks to a reliable 30-day money-back guarantee. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

Censorship in Turkey: Past and Present

Turkey’s first recorded case of Internet censorship was in 2007 when the government blocked YouTube for hosting a video that mocked Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. YouTube offered to make the video invisible to Turkish users, but that did not appease the government, which cited a law from 1951 as its validation for the action. Post Gezi Park protests in 2013 and the coup attempt in 2016, bans and blocks on social media, messaging apps, and websites have become a part of daily life in Turkey. Since 2018, the block has been extended to VPN websites and VPN traffic as well. Blocks usually happen when something politically controversial happens, mostly to control the flow of information inside and outside the country — enforcing media blackouts on certain topics. For example, after a recent bombing in Taksim Square, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube were blocked for about 12 hours until the media blackout was lifted. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube are the most common targets, and these blocks are usually temporary. However, it’s not uncommon for news, informational, and image-hosting sites to be blocked as well. Sites can also face long-term blocks. For example, Wikipedia, Imgur, and Tumblr were all blocked for several years in order to protect Turkish citizens from ‘harmful content.’

Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN in Turkey in 3 Easy Steps

Use ExpressVPN in Turkey

Tips for Using VPNs in Turkey in January 2023

1. Bypass a Blocked Website

Many VPN websites are blocked in Turkey, including websites for some of the best VPNs on the market. If the VPN website is blocked, you won’t be able to purchase a plan or download the app. I recommend using a safe free VPN for this. Free VPNs are generally not safe or fast enough for extended use in Turkey. However, a free one is good enough to protect you while you purchase and download a premium VPN.

2. Bypass a VPN Traffic Block

One of the most common ways VPN use is restricted in Turkey is through VPN traffic blocks. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to detect and block VPN traffic. This is why using a VPN with an obfuscation feature is important. Obfuscation adds another layer of encryption to the already-encrypted VPN traffic, making it look like normal HTTPS (non-VPN) traffic. Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN, obfuscate all connections by default. Some VPNs, like PIA and PrivateVPN, have obfuscation settings that can be turned on and off.

3. Contact Customer Support

Most VPN providers are well aware of the situation in Turkey. A good VPN provider will be more than happy to troubleshoot any issues you might encounter and offer actionable solutions. They might recommend (and teach you how to) manually change ports or install an OpenVPN client on your device. When choosing a VPN provider for Turkey, make sure you choose one with 24/7 customer support. It’s easy to reach out to ExpressVPN’s customer agents for any questions Try ExpressVPN in Turkey

Best VPNs That Really Work in Turkey (Updated January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Fastest, Most Secure VPN for Turkey (Hides VPN Traffic)

Key Features: I ran 30+ VPNs through multiple rounds of testing — only ExpressVPN worked reliably and effortlessly in Turkey. When you use an ExpressVPN server, your connection is automatically obfuscated, meaning it looks just like any other HTTPS traffic. Other VPNs have this feature too, but you have to manually adjust the settings and endure a bit of a slowdown. ExpressVPN helps you get around Turkey’s technological blocks with 0 effort. ExpressVPN’s blazing-fast speeds are another reason it’s at the top of this list. After running multiple rounds of speed tests on various servers, I found that ExpressVPN only had an average speed drop of 12%, the lowest among all the VPNs I tested. It didn’t matter whether I was connected to servers nearby or servers on the other side of the world. My connections were stable and fast enough to handle large downloads, multiplayer online games, hours of streaming, and video calls.

ExpressVPN offers impressive speeds, no matter which server you’re connected to During testing, ExpressVPN allowed for easy access to the following sites: This makes this VPN especially useful for travelers looking to stay connected to people at home while on vacation in Turkey. Using ExpressVPN also allows travelers to keep up with their favorite Netflix shows. ExpressVPN secures internet traffic with an extensive list of security features, including:

AES 256-bit encryption — the same standard used to protect US classified data secures your online traffic IP, WebRTC, and DNS Leak protection — ensures that third parties can’t link your online activities to you Proprietary Lightway protocol — quickly reestablishes VPN connection in case of internet connectivity issues Network Lock — a kill switch feature that stops unprotected data from entering or exiting your device until the VPN is safely connected to a server TrustedServer technology on all servers — utilizes only RAM, eliminating the hacking and seizure risks that come with storing data on a hard drive Anonymous payments through Bitcoin, allowing anonymous sign-ups (using an anonymous email address)

I also researched ExpressVPN’s privacy practices. ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy and security practices have been audited by some of the world’s most reputable firms, including PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Cure53. In addition, ExpressVPN’s commitment to its users was put to a real-life test in 2017 when the Turkish government seized a physical ExpressVPN server to find a user. The seizure yielded no identifiable user information. ExpressVPN’s subscriptions can be a tad pricey, but definitely worth it for its speed, security features, and proven commitment to user privacy. Purchasing a 1-year + 3 months plan brings the monthly price to $6.67 per month so that you can save up to 49%. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can see how well ExpressVPN works in Turkey. The ExpressVPN website isn’t available in the country, so I used a temporary VPN to bypass the block, purchase a plan, and download the app. After testing it extensively for 28 days, I requested a refund through live chat. The agent approved my request immediately, and the money was back in my account after 5 days. Use ExpressVPN in Turkey

2. CyberGhost — Easy Access to Blocked Sites (No Manual Adjustments Needed)

Key Features: CyberGhost is another VPN that does not have any issues at all in Turkey. The website is readily accessible, and the VPN traffic is unblocked. I had ready access to the following websites without having to adjust the proxy settings or turn on an obfuscation feature: When I tested CyberGhost’s servers, I saw an average speed drop of around 39%. While that seems like a lot, I only noticed the slowdown while connected to servers located far away. Thanks to my decent default speeds, I was still able to browse the web, stream in UHD, and download large files, even with the slowdown. If you’re using CyberGhost on a slower wifi connection, I recommend choosing a server closer to your actual location such as Cyprus or Bulgaria. You can also connect to one of the optimized servers if you’re gaming or streaming and get a speed boost.

CyberGhost had decent speeds, especially on nearby servers CyberGhost has the following security features to protect users’ internet activities while in Turkey:

Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption — ensures your traffic is completely protected from third-party surveillance An on-by-default kill switch — automatically disconnects your device from the internet in case of a drop in connection Multiple VPN protocols — choose from OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and L2TP/IPSec, for different levels of security and speed

Unlike most VPN servers, CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers are not managed in a third-party data center; they’re owned by the CyberGhost team and managed directly in their Romania headquarters. The team controls physical access to the data center, so any data passing through there is extra-secure. These servers are located in privacy-friendly Romania, which doesn’t require companies to facilitate data requests. I connect to one of these servers for activities that require an extra layer of security. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost’s no-logs policy is also third-party audited. Deloitte, one of the world’s most prestigious audit firms, confirmed that CyberGhost does not log identifiable user information. For the sake of transparency, CyberGhost also publishes a yearly transparency report to keep users abreast of the number of data requests they’ve received (and did not grant, of course). If you’re looking for a VPN for short-term use, CyberGhost’s one-month plan (around $13) is a bit steep and comes with a shorter money-back guarantee. The good news is that CyberGhost’s 2-year + 2 months plan is just $2.19 per month. With a generous 45-day guarantee, you can use CyberGhost as much as you need and claim a refund if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. I wanted to see how legitimate the guarantee was, so I claimed a refund via live chat. The agent just asked for my reference number, then approved my request. The process took less than 15 minutes. I was fully refunded after 7 working days. Use CyberGhost in Turkey

3. Private Internet Access — Shadowsocks Proxy Allows Access to All Blocked Sites in Turkey

Key Features: Both Private Internet Access (PIA)’s traffic, and website are affected by Turkish technological blocks. Once you’ve bypassed the blocked site and purchased a plan, you’ll be able to use PIA to access the internet securely and freely in Turkey. PIA can access most major streaming services and many other sites, including the following: To access these blocked sites, you just need to switch to the OpenVPN protocol and turn on Shadowsocks. It’s easy to use because your settings are saved after you turn it on. There are several Shadowsocks locations to choose from, so you don’t suffer any slowdowns. I went from blocked to browsing in 5 minutes. PIA’s obfuscation feature is easy to set up and use With an average speed drop of around 45%, speeds are a bit of a hit-and-miss with PIA. I had no issues while connected to nearby servers during testing. In fact, the speeds stayed close to my default. However, I experienced drastic slowdowns while connected to a server in Australia. If possible, choose a server close to your location, especially if your wifi is slow. If you need regular, high-speed access to particular servers, I suggest trying ExpressVPN instead. PIA has the following security features to keep your data safe in a surveillance-heavy country such as Turkey:

Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption — the same standard used by governments An automatic kill switch — to make sure you’re protected even when your internet is unstable Several VPN protocols — choose from PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN depending on speed or security requirements. Server environment audited by Deloitte — proven not to log user data.

Another feature I liked about PIA is the built-in ad, tracker, and malware blocker. It removes disruptive (and potentially dangerous) ads you see on sites. MACE also cross-references the sites you visit with a list of known harmful URLs and domains, blocking trackers and malware from loading on your device. Unfortunately, PIA is headquartered in the US, the heart of multiple intelligence-sharing deals such as the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliance. However, the US police have asked PIA for user data twice. PIA could not comply because there was no user data to be given up. This is reassuring since Turkey has seized VPN servers in the past. PIA’s biggest savings are in the 2-year + 2 months plan. The 82% discount brings the monthly rates down to a meager $2.19 per month, making it one of the best monthly VPNs on the market. The 30-day money-back guarantee is a great way to test all of PIA’s features for free. On the 25th day of my 2-year + 2 months plan, I claimed a refund by filing a refund ticket through the Contact Us button on PIA’s website. After an hour, I got a confirmation email, and the money was back in my account after 5 days. Use PIA in Turkey

4. PrivateVPN —Secure, Budget-friendly VPN To Bypass Turkey’s Toughest Blocks

Key Features: With long-term plans starting at $2.00 per month (3-year plan), PrivateVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs you can get on a budget. I was able to access all blocked sites in Turkey, including: Although PrivateVPN’s website isn’t blocked in Turkey, its VPN traffic is. That’s why I was happy to see that PrivateVPN has an easy-to-use obfuscation feature. To make your VPN traffic look like any normal, non-VPN traffic, just turn on Stealth VPN. fAfterward, you’ll be able to browse the internet freely. After activating the Stealth VPN feature, you’ll be able to access most blocked sites PrivateVPN gave me an average speed drop of around 35% during testing, some of the fastest speeds I’ve gotten when using obfuscation features. Because it clearly states that you may experience slowdowns when using Stealth VPN, I expected major slowdowns with it turned on. I was pleasantly surprised when I had 0 issues browsing, downloading files, and even streaming in UHD. Whenever you connect to PrivateVPN, your internet traffic is protected by the following security features:

Customizable 256-bit or 128-bit encryption — allows you to prioritize speed if your internet connection is slow An automatic kill switch — shuts off your internet if your connection drops Perfect forward secrecy — an encryption algorithm that changes your keys from time to time to enhance security A no-logs policy — clearly outlined in its privacy policy

One issue I had with PrivateVPN was its headquarters: it’s located in Sweden, a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance. Since PrivateVPN’s privacy policy clearly states that they do not log any user data, there’s not going to be any data to give up in case of a request from the Turkish government. However, unlike the first 3 VPNs on this list, a third-party auditor has not verified PrivateVPN’s no-logs policy. Since all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can test PrivateVPN for free. If you decide it’s not for you, you can request a refund via email. While I did have to provide a reason why I’m canceling (I just said I didn’t need the service anymore), my request was approved pretty quickly. The money was back in my account after 5 working days. Use PrivateVPN in Turkey

5. PureVPN — Low-cost VPN With Ready Access to Sites Blocked in Turkey

Key Features: Like CyberGhost, PureVPN’s website is available in Turkey, and the VPN traffic isn’t blocked. You can easily purchase a PureVPN plan, download the apps you need, and connect to a server that protects your traffic. There’s no need to bypass a blocked site or adjust the settings. My teammates and I were able to access the following sites while connected to PureVPN: With an average drop of just 30%, the speeds I got while connected to PureVPN servers were pretty great. I had no issues with high-bandwidth activities like streaming and downloading. The problem was finding stable servers — I often experienced drops in connection and would need to switch servers to find one that worked.

PureVPN was fast, but connections were unstable PureVPN is equipped with the following security features:

256-bit encryption — the same encryption standard used by the US military IP leak prevention — keeps your location private No-logs policy — audited by KPMG to ensure no user data is ever stored

Among all the ones I’ve tested, PureVPN is the only VPN that’s future-proof. Its quantum-resistant encryption algorithms are designed to be unbreakable, even by computers designed to break the most powerful encryption systems currently use. As surveillance systems become increasingly sophisticated, it’s nice to use an equally advanced tool to protect your data. PureVPN’s history of protecting users’ data is a bit tainted, though. In 2016, when it was asked by the authorities for user data in a cyberstalking investigation, PureVPN shared the requested user logs. To reassure users, the company has an always-on auditing clause with the established auditing firm KPMG. This means that KPMG can conduct surprise audits of PureVPN’s no-logs claims at any time. So far, KPMG has verified that PureVPN really does not log any user data. PureVPN subscriptions start at $1.33 per month for a 5-year plan, the lowest price among the VPNs on this list. Thanks to a money-back guarantee, you can try it for free for 31 days. Claiming a refund via live chat is easy. After telling the representative why I was canceling, they approved my request immediately. I got my money back after 3 working days. Use PureVPN in Turkey

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs That Still Work in Turkey

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How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Turkey

There are a lot of VPNs claiming to be the best ones to use in Turkey, but most of them are slow, unreliable, or have questionable security practices. That’s why I teamed up with my colleagues based in Turkey to test the top VPNs in 2023 to find the ones that really work. We looked at the following criteria:

Obfuscation features — Since Turkey’s technological blocks work by blocking VPN traffic, effective obfuscation (the ability to make VPN traffic seem like normal, HTTPS traffic) is a must. I only included VPNs that are securely obfuscated by default or have obfuscation options. High speeds for online activities — The internet speeds in Turkey tend to be slow, and some obfuscation features require a switch to a slower encryption protocol (like OpenVPN). I selected the VPNs that had the least impact on my default speeds, even with the obfuscation features turned on. Works with most blocked sites — All the VPNs listed above work with most sites and services that are blocked in Turkey, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Imgur. No-logs policy — Since the Turkish government is known for seizing servers and demanding data from companies and organizations, I especially selected VPNs that have no-logs policies in place. I made sure to mention if a provider’s no-logs policy is third-party audited (and therefore more secure). Anonymous payment methods — All the VPNs I included offer anonymous payment methods for users needing not just privacy but complete anonymity. Dependable customer support — Because of Turkey’s stance on VPNs, it’s important to be able to get assistance if you encounter any issues. The best VPNs offer multiple ways to reach out to a helpful support team, plus detailed guides to refer to for self-help.

Test ExpressVPN in Turkey

Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN in Turkey. The hard part is finding VPNs that work, as the government technologically blocks VPN websites and VPN traffic. While a VPN will keep your internet activity and searches private, whatever you say publicly is still subject to Turkish law, which clearly prohibits (among other things) any denigration of the government. While no one’s gone to jail solely for using a VPN, people have faced harsh sentences for things they’ve said on social media. This is an important thing to keep in mind while in Turkey.

Do VPNs work in Turkey?

Not all of them. Due to existing technological blocks, there are only a few VPNs that work in Turkey. Even those that do work might slow your connection to a crawl or have dubious privacy practices. All the VPNs recommended in this article are reliable, fast, and don’t log user data. You can even try ExpressVPN risk-free, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

How do I get a Turkey IP address?

The easiest way to get a Turkey IP address is to use a VPN. In addition to encrypting your internet traffic, a VPN routes it to a server of your choosing, so if you connect to a VPN server located in Turkey, you will get a Turkey IP address.

Can I use a free VPN for Turkey?

Possibly, but I don’t recommend them for long-term use. One of the best tips for using a VPN in Turkey is to download a safe, free VPN and use it to find a faster, more secure one for permanent use. That’s because even the safest free VPNs offer capped bandwidth, slowed-down speeds, or a limited server selection. Free VPNs have also been known to sell user data to marketers, and free providers don’t have the resources to keep your data private in case of a data request. In the worst case, a free VPN download might even be a vector for malware. To be on the safe side, I recommend you choose a premium VPN with a track record of standing up to government data requests, like ExpressVPN. Use ExpressVPN in Turkey

Access the Open Internet in Turkey With a Reliable VPN Today!

While VPN use is technically legal, the Turkish government employs technological blocks that make it more difficult for people to download and use a VPN. Because of that, it’s hard to find a VPN that works consistently in Turkey. Of all the 30 VPNs my teammates and I tested, ExpressVPN was the fastest, most reliable VPN to use in Turkey. As soon as you connect to an ExpressVPN server, you’ll be able to access sites usually blocked in the country and do so without fear of anyone watching the sites you visit and the information you access. Curious to see if it works? You can try ExpressVPN in Turkey risk-free — it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide that it’s not the VPN for you, you can request a refund.

Summary — Best VPNs for Turkey in 2023