Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands, sometimes just called the Turks & Caicos are a British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises two island groups, the Turks and Caicos Islands, together. The name is derived from one hand Melocactus intortus (English " Turk's cap cactus " ) from and on the other hand, for " island chain ", which gave the Lucayaner the archipelago of the name Biscay hico.


About 153 km to the south is the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, 64 km south-west, which belongs to the Bahamas Islands Inagua, 65 km north-west of the island of Mayaguana in the Bahamas. Although the Turks and Caicos islands are geographically in the Atlantic, they are still counted in the Caribbean; the two island groups form the south-eastern foothills of the Bahamas.

The total area of ​​all islands is about 497 km ². The capital is Cockburn Town, Grand Turk.


The population was in April 2011 about 41,000 people who call themselves Belongers, consisting of the descendants of African slaves and a mixed European minority.


The original indigenous population were the Taino, who were probably displaced or assimilated by the Lucayanern. The indigenous population was wiped out in the mid- 16th century due to disease and slavery.

About the discovery of the islands by the Europeans, there are several theories: Some historians believe that Christopher Columbus did not land in 1492 in San Salvador or Samana Cay in the Bahamas, but on Grand Turk at the present anchorage Hawks Nest. Officially today but Juan Ponce de León, who first reported in 1513 by the islands, as the European discoverer of the islands.

In the 17th century the islands were colonized by Bermuda and were later Spanish, French and British control. From 1776 to 1848 they were part of the British colony of the Bahamas, and from 1848 to 1959 it belonged to then also still British Jamaica; In 1959 she was declared to own colony. Since about 1976 there have been efforts to become independent, since around 1982, however, they are resting.

In 1974 there were the first attempts in the Canadian Parliament, take the islands as eleventh province in the Canadian federation. However, the proposed law was no majority and was thus rejected. Since 2003, however, there are renewed efforts in this direction. However, that would require firstly the UK dismissed the islands in the independence and secondly agree with every single Canadian province; The latter is just not very promising due to the very complex Canadian constitutional procedures.

In September 2008, the islands were hit hard by the short successive hurricanes Hanna and Ike. Especially the Turks Islands and South Caicos suffered extensive damage.

Due to corruption allegations, the British Foreign Ministry, the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands declared in August 2009 deposed. The parliament was dissolved and the Constitution, which regulates the autonomy of Great Britain, overridden. The official duties were taken over by Governor Gordon Wetherell. Ex - Premier Galmo Williams accused the government in London recolonization and fracture of EU law.

2011, a revised Constitution was adopted, which came into force on October 15, 2012. General elections were held on November 9, 2012 held on November 13, 2012 Rufus Ewing was sworn in as the new Prime Minister, and on 28 November 2012, the new parliament convened for the first time. There, announced Governor Todd to the facility headed a commission to prepare independence from the United Kingdom, which is sought by both parties represented in Parliament.

There are several policy issues disagreements with London, for example, with regard to the introduction of VAT, which is rejected on the islands. From London, however, a long-term financial stabilization of the islands is sought to be hedged from 2016 no longer by British guarantees.


The Turks and Caicos Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The 2011 constitution, adopted in 2011 has been in force since 15 October 2012.

Head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor appointed by it.

Parliament ( House of Assembly ) has 21 members, 15 elected for four years viz members, four appointed members, the Attorney General ( non-voting ) and the speaker. For the parliamentary elections, the Turks and Caicos islands form both a single common constituency, as ten constituencies. Of the 15 elected parliamentarians, five members are elected in the common constituency and one member for each of the ten constituencies.

The Majority Leader in Parliament is appointed by the Governor to the Prime Minister. The Government (Cabinet ) is composed of the Governor, the Prime Minister, up to six other ministers from the ranks of elected or appointed members of Parliament, the Deputy Governor and the Attorney General.


The Turks and Caicos Islands are divided into six administrative districts, two of them. In the Turks Islands and four in the Caicos Islands The administrative districts are headed by district commissioners.