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Tweeting in Turkey - Turkey’s Unusual Relationship with Social Media

1st February 2016

Social media is such an integral part of most people's lives now days that many people take it for granted. And most people understandably don't really think about it when they're deciding to move to another country, because most people will just assume social media is everywhere.

So is social media available in Turkey?
Turkey is sometimes inaccurately characterised as being an Islamic country and many other things besides that, which have built up a rather inaccurate view of how modern a country Turkey really is.

Yes social media sites are available in Turkey and it might surprise you to learn that in 2011 according to research by the analytics firm SocailBakers Turkey was once the fourth largest country in the world in terms of Facebook users with around 30 million users.

Turkey also still sits comfortably in the top ten at number 6 with an estimated 34.5 million active users. And in 2014 Twitter was estimated to have around 6.5 million active users, and the instant messenger Whatsapp as also proved very popular.

So social media does have very strong links in Turkey particularly in more urban areas like Istanbul, and it also follows the general rule that the younger you are the more active you'll likely be on social media.

Censorship and Special Rules
Countries have their own rules regarding social media, for example some countries have different ages of consent in order to make a Facebook page. Turkey likewise as its own set of rules and guidelines you should be aware of.

In 2014 a law was passed that allowed the Turkish government to block entire websites with a court order. Under this law at times many social media sites have been blocked for a set amount of time (this varies depending on the reasons for the block).

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and the video sharing site YouTube have all been blocked before in Turkey, and while this may be unexpected and annoying at times research shows that it hasn't had much effect in stopping people from using social media sites.

What does the future hold for Social Media in Turkey?
Social media has flourished in recent years for Turkey and many Turkish people use it in their daily lives for all sorts of reasons both business and personal. While at present social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and many others may suffer the unfortunate block every so often, you'll still find a thriving Turkish community online.

How social media will develop in the future is still very uncertain, despite the strict laws in place social media still remains very popular in Turkey and it's likely to remain that way for quite some time. 

A VPN is a virtual private network, they have many uses but one of the primary reasons many people use one it to access websites or content they wouldn’t normally be able to because of their location. For example the BBC iPlayer is only available to people inside the UK but a VPN can mask your IP address and make it appear to be coming from inside the UK.

So a VPN is a useful tool for getting around the blocks the government sometimes imposes on social media sites in Turkey, because it can make it look like you’re posting from outside the country. A VPN can be acquired in many different ways but one of the most common and easily accessible ways is a software version that you can download from the internet.

Disclaimer - This article is not an endorsement of VPN’s and as such we do not take any liability for any damage or loss that may occur.

Written by David Varty - YellAli Content Team

Turkish Residence Permit


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