Update: As of Feb. 28, 2020 Turkey has unblocked social media sites for most users.
After an attack on Turkish troops in Idlib, Syria on February 27, all social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram has been blocked in Turkey. Luckily, you can still access social media in Turkey with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
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This is the fifth time that Turkey blocks social media since passing the internet “kill switch” law in 2016, which allows suspending internet access in case of war or danger to national security. However, a good VPN will unblock social media platforms, such as Vimeo or YouTube, for you in Turkey. Below you will find a quick step-by-step guide on how to do that.
Unblock social media in Turkey with NordVPN
For accessing social media in Turkey, we recommend NordVPN, the most secure and #1-ranked service. From over 200 services that we tested thoroughly, NordVPN (now with 70% discount) turned out to be the best for circumventing internet restrictions.
NordVPN works on computers, smartphones, Android TV, and routers. It also allows 6 simultaneous connections. This means that you can share one NordVPN account with family or friends who are also looking for ways to unblock social media in Turkey.
With more than 5400 servers in over 59 countries, NordVPN will help you avoid any type of internet restrictions and use all social media like before. Finally, it comes with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why social media is blocked in Turkey
Social media in Turkey is blocked because the government has passed an internet “kill switch” law way back in 2016. According to it, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) has the authority to fully or partially suspend internet access because of war or potential danger to national security.
The first time when ICTA implemented these restrictions was in 2016. It blocked all social media in Turkey for several hours during the start of Operation Euphrates Shield. Later that year, social platforms were blocked again to prevent the spreading of a video where IS members immolate Turkish soldiers.
After this came a relatively calm period until 2019 when the first phase of Operation Peace Spring started. Another partial block by the Turkish ISP (partially owned by the government) came in October 2019 after another incursion into Syria. ICTA blocked social media sites near the Syrian border for 48 hours. This has been the longest internet restriction period thus far.
Why use a VPN in Turkey?
There are plenty of good reasons to use a VPN service in Turkey. Over the past decade, internet freedom and press freedom has fallen drastically in the country. The two primary elements of this are online censorship and silencing journalists.
VPNs change your IP address and encrypt your data. This makes it impossible for Turkish ISPs like Turk Telecom to block access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other websites. Additionally, a VPN makes it impossible to track the activities and read conversations of journalists or political activists online.
Even if security and privacy don’t matter to you very much, VPN services still have benefits. A good VPN will let you watch geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix or HBO, help you get better deals on airline tickets, and much more.