US human rights organization Amnesty International stated that “the past months have seen a sharp decline in human rights conditions in Turkey. Signs suggest that the situation will only get worse as Turkey moves towards presidential elections in August”. As expected, ever since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took office in 2014, Turkish government has started increasing censorship across the country.
Freedom House ranks Turkey as “Not Free”. Reporters Without Borders rank Turkey at the 149th place out of over 180 countries, right before Democratic Republic of Congo.
National Security Council considers social media one of the main threats to national security that weakens the ruling party’s control over the flow of information. By 2015 the censorship in Turkey has reached thousands of media outlets and social media accounts. Turkish government pursued dozens of journalists who were arrested and consequently imprisoned, attacked several media organs and a printing house.
As of March 2015, Law No. 5651 on Regulating the Internet came info effect, broadening the scope of access to user data without a warrant. Additionally, the law authorizes Turkish government to block online content under excuse of protection of life and private property, protection of national security and public order, prevention of crimes, and protection of public health without a prior court order.
Facebook, Reddit, YouTube and Twitter were all temporarily banned in 2015 until access to “sensitive content” that is considered inappropriate to be viewed by Turkish citizens was restricted. This content includes, but is not limited to bombings, public protests, criticism against the President and his government, pornography. Social media tends to be blocked during important political events that can undermine Erdoğan’s authority, intelligence leaks and corruption scandals. Erdoğan has filed criminal complaints against 70 people for allegedly insulting him online.
July 15, 2016 Military Coup resulted in 160 deaths, 1500 injures, 2839 detained military officers. Turkish authorities have removed 2,745 judges from duty following the coup attempt, five members of High Judiciary Court Board of Turkey were also removed. Erdoğan even considered reintroducing death penalty for plotters. “They will pay a heavy price for this,” claimed Erdogan, “this uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”
In addition to draconian censorship laws and complete lack of media freedom, leaks of illegal wiretaps, mass surveillance and documents that prove Turkish police uses malware tools to hack into user accounts, all indicate that Erdoğan government is spying on Turkish citizens. More so, the Homeland Security Act passed in March 2015 grants public authorities up to 48 hours of covert surveillance without a court order. This essentially means that Turkish government can decide to wiretap any person at their own discretion.
VPN is an excellent tool to bypass Internet restrictions and government surveillance in Turkey. VPN encrypts communication, replaces a real IP address with a new address, and completely hides Internet traffic from ISPs (like Türk Telekom) and government in general.
Because Turkish ISPs block VPN ports and use advanced filtering methods (like China, Iran or Syria) it’s best to use VPN providers with more advanced tools to bypass even the most strict firewalls.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.49 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 1.75 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.99 USD
ZenMate is a no logs privacy oriented VPN provider with a number of built-in security features for advanced protection from cybercrime and various IP leaks. ZenMate has over 1,000 ultra fast VPN servers that are great for streaming (including Netflix), torrenting and gaming since the infrastructure is optimized for low ping times and virtually eliminates lag. ZenMate Premium software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android is lightweight, efficient and reliable – it takes about 2 seconds to disconnect from one VPN server and connect to another. ZenMate simply never disconnects! To read a full ZenMate review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.50 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
VyprVPN is a leading no logs VPN provider with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide that support gigabit Internet connection (1,000Mbps). VyprVPN has done independent public audit by Leviathan Security to ensure that no logs are collected. Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage their own VPN servers. VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast offering ultra fast speeds and low ping times for high speed HD streaming. With their server clusters located in close proximity to major gaming servers, VyprVPN also delivers a better overall gaming experience. VyprVPN custom software is very reliable and protects users from various IP leaks. In addition, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.67 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
ExpressVPN has one of the largest and fastest infrastructures with over 2,000 servers in 94 countries. Ultra fast ExpressVPN network supports gigabit Internet connection which makes it a perfect choice for ultra high speed streaming and torrenting. Besides, ExpressVPN aligns itself as one of the Internet’s leading advocates for net neutrality, for a democratic and open internet. Considering they have a no logs policy, accept Bitcoin and are located on the Caribbean Island, they are a great choice for privacy oriented customers who want to protect their data from surveillance, bypass censorship and access restricted materials. To read a full ExpressVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.99 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD
Hotspot Shield is the largest no logs VPN provider serving tens of millions of users. Hotspot Shield has dedicated VPN software for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone. The app allows users to split tunnel only selected websites via VPN while other browsing activities will continue using standard internet connection. Torrenting is allowed and streaming speeds are excellent as well. To read a full Hotspot Shield review click HERE.
TRIAL: 0.99 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.49 USD/mo
Hong Kong based PureVPN is a proud owner of a massive 2,000 servers network in over 140 countries with over 60 server locations specifically optimized for torrenting. PureVPN is a fast and reliable VPN provider with exclusive streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu and similar services. PureVPN online gaming VPN servers are dedicated for gamers’ traffic only. Low ping offered by optimized PureVPN servers make it possible for gaming and streaming users to enjoy entertainment with the fastest load time. Secure PureVPN infrastructure is protected behind NAT Firewall. PureVPN offers custom apps for all devices, while desktop apps have a built-in Kill Switch feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.25 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 10 USD
IPVanish is a no logs VPN provider with a global servers infrastructure secured behind NAT Firewall. IPVanish offers native apps for desktop and mobile clients and allows 10 simultaneous connections. IPVanish servers are specifically optimized for streaming and gaming which ensures excellent download speeds and low ping times. IPvanish software protects users from unexpected data leaks and offers a number of advanced features especially useful for torrenting. To read a full IPVanish review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.85 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
PIA is a leading no logs VPN provider with a massive amount of servers (over 3,000) that deliver excellent speeds and a very reliable service. PIA VPN does a great job protecting users’ privacy from surveillance, cyber attacks and other online threats. PIA offers an easy to install VPN app for all devices with advanced features that secure VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. For faster streaming and torrenting PIA software offers switching between different connection types and ports. To read a full PIA review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.49 USD/mo [promocode]
MONTHLY PRICE: 8.99 USD
Offering over 3,000 servers in 50 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No logs TorGuard offers a reliable, fast and secure VPN connection. Their SOCKS5 proxy is an excellent feature for high speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. TorGuard native apps offer advanced security features to ensure no data leaks, even when the connection drops. TorGuard’s StealthVPN protocol is an effective tool to bypass strict firewalls and VPN blocking. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.