People, One Nation, One Destiny
Turks and Caicos are located 575 miles
southeast of Miami Florida, 30 miles south of the Bahamas
and 90 miles north of the Dominican Republic. The main
islands consist of two groups separated by the Columbus
Island Passage: The Turks Group, which includes Grand Turk
and Salt Cay, and the Caicos Group, which includes West
North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos.
The total land area of the main islands is 193 square miles.
Columbus was said to have discovered the islands in
1492, but some still argue that Ponce de Leon arrived
first. Whichever it was, the first people to truly
discover the islands were the Taino Indians. Then the
Lucayans eventually replaced the Tainos but by the
middle of the 16th Century they too had disappeared,
victims of Spanish enslavement and imported disease.
The 17th century saw the arrival of settlers from
Bermuda, who established themselves on Grand Turk, Salt
Cay and South Caicos. They used slaves to rake salt for
British colonies in America, and were later joined by
British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. The
economy of the island revolved around the rich cotton
and sisal plantations, their harvests sold in London and
New York. Due to competition and the thin soil, however,
the cotton plantations slowly deteriorated, most of them
finally perishing in a hurricane in 1813. Solar salt
became the main economy of the islands.
In 1766, after being controlled by the Spanish, French
and British, Turks and Caicos became part of the Bahamas
colony, but attempts to integrate failed and were
abandoned in 1848. London - Kingston boats frequently
visited Turks and Caicos, so links with Jamaica were
well developed. The Turks and Caicos were annexed to
Jamaica in 1874 until 1962, when they assumed the status
of a separate crown colony upon Jamaica's independence.
The governor of the
Bahamas oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973. With Bahamian
independence, the islands received a separate governor
in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982,
the policy was reversed and the islands are presently a
British Overseas Territory.
elections due 2011
Progressive National Party
People's Democratic Movement (PDM);
Progressive National Party (PNP);
|Head of State:
||His Excellency Damian
Roderic (Ric) Todd - Governor
Dr Rufus Ewing, Premier
the main industry with off-shore finance and fishing
also providing a strength
to the country’s
economy. The off-shore finance sector continues to
grow due to the favourable laws which facilitate international
business transactions. The Turks and Caicos Islands
no income, wealth or inheritance tax. Most capital
food for domestic consumption are imported.
Three international airports at Grand
Turk, Providenciales and South Caicos. All other islands
have domestic airports except for East and West Caicos,
which are uninhabited.
Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom
Cockburn Town, Grand Turk
430 km2 (170 miles2 )
United States Dollar
||$721.9 million (2006)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Government: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
New Years Day (01 January); Commonwealth Day
(Monday nearest to 12 March); Good Friday; Easter Monday;
National Heroes Day (last Monday in May in honor of the First
Chief Minister, The late Hon J.A.G.S. McCartney); Queens
Official Birthday (mid-June); Emancipation Day (01 August);
National Youth Day (Last Friday of September); Columbus Day
(Monday nearest the 10th of October); International Human
Rights Day (24 October);
Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
of CARICOM Membership:
2 July 1991
"God Save the Queen"
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.
O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.