Turkey is a unique country from multiple perspectives. In terms of internet freedom, the country’s online content is very restricted, more so than most European states. What is very important to clarify is the why and how of the topic. It is no secret that Turkey wants to become a member of the European Union. However, the country’s politics – and in our case the internet policy practiced – reflects a curious intention regarding this. While being a member state includes aspects other than trade, Turkey’s leaders wish to be a part of the EU on economical grounds above all else, while remaining culturally distant. As we will demonstrate below, this takes its toll on internet freedom too, making circumventing Turkey’s blocks via a VPN almost always necessary.
Best VPN Services for Turkey of 2018
Using a Turkish IP
Turkey is a popular tourist destination, frequently listed amongst the ten most visited countries in the world. The Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus are two of the seven wonders of the ancient world situated in Turkey. Significant crowds are drawn to visit, and we are pleased to inform you that from this touristic perspective, the availability of websites is great, with quite frequent translations into other languages. The broadcast of Turkish television and radio is a more rare sight via official channels. Unofficially, radio is a lot easier to find and listen to without blocks. Overall though, Turkish websites are within reach for general information. However, there are specific topics that are blocked for multiple reasons.
Turkish Online Privacy Laws
Aside from the government, a regulatory authority known as Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) is responsible for upholding internet law and many other related agenda in Turkey. The Telecommunications Authority established by Law 4502 was the predecessor of this. What is most important to note here is that ICTA also oversees the ISP market of Turkey. If you use a Turkish IP, then you will most probably view content that ICTA had a say in. This means that even if you unblock the Turkish internet with a VPN service, you will still end up seeing restricted content, as it is made such for the country’s citizens, too.
Internet Censorship in Turkey
Censorship is a big issue in Turkey. Government officials most probably determined open internet is a threat to the preservation of their people’s cultural identity, thus Turkish internet is regularly censored on cultural and/or religious grounds. Online actions that deemed to culturally violate Turkish interests are any form of hate speech not only against Turks, but specifically Atatürk, the first president of Turkey. Content about prostitution, gambling, sexual abuse of children (adults are excluded), glorifying suicide, health-threatening drugs and the promotion of them are all completely prohibited. Politically degrading content against the government, websites violating Turkish copyright law or the Turkish commercial code and sites related to terrorism are blocked altogether. Some popular domains associated with “western” culture are also blocked or were blocked.
In September 2015, Twitter was yet again blocked for a brief period in the wake of posts related to Turkish violence against Kurds. YouTube is also a popular victim amongst services and websites being blocked, along with most other services by Alphabet including Google. For those of you enthusiastic about social media, Facebook is similarly within reach. File sharing is heavily regulated, with The Pirate Bay being the most prominent example. Overall, online content in Turkey is heavily censored selectively and bans come and go on a regular basis.
Streaming Services in Turkey
The availability of streaming services is also affected by Turkey’s strict internet policy. SoundCloud and Deezer – music streamers with essentially global availability – are blocked. The rest somewhat conform to international availability. Spotify is available, and so is Beatport along with Apple Music. Amazon Prime is not available, however. The satiation is the same with Google Play Music, Napster, BBC iPlayer and Pandora. Netflix is unavailable, although there were plans to introduce the service to the country in 2014. There are quite the blocks in Turkey; therefore we suggest using a VPN service to either access countries that make the above available or unblock your desired content in Turkey.
Free Turkish VPN Trials
Lastly, we would like to advise you on a selection of VPN services that will help you gain a more free access from, or to Turkey. Since censorship is often practiced, we have chosen providers that help bypass them the best. For one, here is VyprVPN; the Swiss company’s own VyprDNS solutions is a smart DNS service that even lets you view blocked websites on the Turkish internet. You also get a built-in NAT Firewall to boot, further protecting you. Another VPN service that also supplies smart DNS is ibVPN. Also a top contender, ibVPN is excellent at encrypting your traffic while their ibDNS product will gift you with a much wider online access. And finally, if you are interested in proxy-based VPN, take a look at IronSocket. Anywhere from HTTP to HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxy, IronSocket is a cheap and very effective provider with great device support. They are most suitable for connecting from Turkey to abroad.