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Direct access to the Tor network and some high-profile VPN services have been blocked in Turkey, reports TurkeyBlocks, a service that keeps track of websites and services banned in the country.

Several Turkish ISPs appear to have started enacting the block following December 12, 2016.

The Turkish government passed a law in early November requiring local ISPs to ban access to the Tor network and ten of the most used VPN services in Turkey.

The original list included VPN services such as VPN Master, Hotspot Shield VPN, Psiphon, Zenmate VPN, TunnelBear, Zero VPN, Private Internet Access VPN, Espress VPN, IPVanish VP, and VyprVPN.

Tor still works with custom configs

Turkish ISPs have also blocked the usage of Tor in its default configuration by blocking traffic to Tor's public "relays," listed in the Tor Bridge Directory.

Users can still configure Tor to use bridges when connecting to the anonymity network, not listed in this directory, but this is a highly complicated operation, and very few users know where to find a list of unlisted Tor relay servers. Another way is to tinker with some of Tor's default configuration, as shown in the tweet below.

In the past few years, the Turkish government has blocked access to several online services. The first bans were against Twitter, when the government discovered that students in Turkey's biggest cities were using the social network to gather in huge crowds and protest against the government.

Turkey slowly moving towards creating its own (China) Great Firewall

As the government has gained more power and the protests died down, the bans extended to include more and more sites.

For example, in 2014, Turkey blocked Twitter and YouTube after an unknown person leaked audio recordings of then-Prime Minister (now President) Erdogan, telling his son to get rid of a large sum of money after police started an investigation into his affairs.

Over the summer, the Turkish government banned Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to prevent anti-government protesters from gathering and supporting a failed military coup. Because the government had already shut down anti-government press and television stations, this allowed them to control the information flow inside the country.

In October, Turkey blocked access to Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and GitHub, after a group of hackers had leaked information showing that Turkey's main party had created a "troll army" who attacked people criticizing the government online.

In November, the government blocked Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram again, this time as they arrested members of their political opposition.

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