Turks and Caicos Islands, British Territory

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea, where the United Kingdom retained authority over defense and international affairs. On October 15, 2012, a new constitution adopted in 2011 came into force, ending three years of direct rule by the British interim administration [1].



The territory is located in the Atlantic Ocean, in the southeastern part of the Bahamas archipelago, 144 km north of Haiti.

It consists of 30 islands forming two groups, the Caicos in the west and the Turks in the east. The total area of the islands is 430 square kilometers.

Only six islands have a permanent population: Grand Turk, Salt Cay, Grand Caicos, East Caicos, South Caicos and Providenciales.

The islands are low-lying, made of limestone. Many salt marshes. The highest island – Providenciales (the highest point – 49 m). Around the islands of coral reefs.

The climate is tropical, trade winds. The heat in the hot season (April to November) is mitigated by north-easterly trade winds. Rainfall is 700-800 mm per year. Hurricanes are frequent.


The islands were discovered by the Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon in 1512. There were no aboriginal population on the islands.

From the 17th century, English colonists from Bermuda began coming to the islands to collect salt. Then, despite the opposition of Spain, the British established plantations there and brought in negro slaves.

In 1766 the Turks and Caicos officially became a British colony.

In 1848 the Turks and Caicos was declared a separate colony, but in 1873 it became part of Jamaica. In 1917, Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden offered to include the islands in his state, but British Prime Minister Lloyd George rejected the offer.

In August 1962, Jamaica gained independence from Britain, and the Turks and Caicos became a crown colony.

Since 1976, the islands have had a local government and parliament.

In 1979 the local authorities entered into an agreement with London to grant the islands independence in 1982, but after another election, the new Turks and Caicos local government decided not to pursue state independence and to retain its status as a British Overseas Territory.

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Political organization

The Territory is governed by an Executive Council, chaired by the Governor and consisting of the Premier, six ministers appointed by the Governor from among the members of the Assembly and the Attorney General.

The Assembly (local parliament) consists of 21 members, 15 of whom are elected by popular vote every four years, with another six appointed by the governor.

  • Progressive National Party (13 assembly seats)
  • People’s Democratic Movement (2 seats in the assembly)

Legal system is based on English law and some Bahamian and Jamaican law, modified locally.

Administrative center of the islands and largest city is Coburn Town, located on Grand Turk Island.

Administrative division

The Turks and Caicos is divided into 6 regions. 4 of these are located in the Caicos Islands and 2 in the Turks Islands:

Region Administrative Center Area, km² Area[2] , mi² Population (2006) pers. Density, persons/km²
1. Providenciales and West Caicos Blue Hils 121 47 22 642 187,12
2. North Caicos Battle Creek 106 41 1 895 17,88
3. Middle Caicos Conch Bar 124 48 468 3,77
4. East and South Caicos Coburn Harbor 68 26 1 579 23,22
5. Grand Turk Coburn Town 17,6 6,8 5 567 316,31
6. Salt Cay Balfour Town 7,1 2,7 186 26,20
Total 443,7 171,5 32 337 72,88


Annual growth rate – 2.5% (largely from immigration).

Ethno-racial composition: blacks – about 90%, the rest – mulattoes and whites (mostly British, Americans, Canadians).

    40 % 18 % 16 %
  • Church of God 12 %
  • Others 14 %


Current events

In 2008, during a routine audit of the islands’ administration by the British Parliament, reports of corruption among senior local government officials were received, resulting in Governor Richard Tover appointing a special commission to investigate. In the same year, Prime Minister Michael Misick was accused of raping an American tourist. As a result, a temporary shutdown of the local government was announced on March 16, 2009, and on March 18, Elizabeth II issued a royal decree allowing the new governor, Gordon Weatherall, to repeal parts of the 2006 constitution and govern the overseas territory himself.

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On October 15, 2012, the new constitution adopted in July 2011 came into force, ending three years of direct rule by the interim British administration [1]

Taxes and offshore status

There are no direct taxes in this jurisdiction on both personal and corporate income, including inheritance and gift taxes. Companies pay only annual license fees. All taxpayers pay import duties and stamp duties. Individuals pay only in addition national insurance dues (jointly with employers) as well as taxes related to tourism activities. The jurisdiction’s currency is the U.S. dollar. The jurisdiction does not have its own central bank and exchange controls.

The Turks and Caicos Islands offshore business is the insurance business. Since 1990, more than 2,000 insurance licenses have been issued by the Financial Services Commission.

The jurisdiction is renowned for its confidentiality regime established by the Confidential Relationship Ordinance of 1979 which makes it an offence punishable by a fine of $10,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation and imprisonment for up to three years (whereby the fine may be combined with imprisonment) for members of the professions concerned (such as lawyers) to pass off information without permission.

Two major banks, Barclays and Bank of Nova Scotia, have offices in the jurisdiction. It should be noted that the United States and Turks and Caicos signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that allows the Turks and Caicos courts to request information from local individuals at the request of the United States in connection with investigations of drug trafficking and money laundering. In addition, the U.S. and Turks and Caicos have a tax information exchange agreement. Similar agreements were also signed in 2009 but have yet to enter into force with the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands (the Turks and Caicos Islands) is a British dependency in the Caribbean. As the name suggests, these are two groups of islands totaling about 30, but only 8 of them are permanently inhabited.

The most popular holiday destination is Providenciales (Provo) whose snow-white beaches are often included in the ratings of the best beaches in the world.

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It also attracts divers from all over the world who want to see one of the biggest coral reefs of the planet.

Geography of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands are two groups of Atlantic Ocean islands that make up the southeastern tip of the Bahamas archipelago (but are not politically part of the Bahamas). Haiti (Hispaniola) is 144 km south of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Map of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The total land area of the Turks and Caicos Islands is about 430 km2 . The islands are mostly low-lying, made of sandstone. The highest (highest point 49 m) – it is also the most populous island – Providenciales .

Climate of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The climate of the Turks and Caicos Islands is tropical. The average temperature in winter is about 27-28, in summer – +32 ° C. The heat is mitigated by trade winds. Water temperature in winter +23-26, in summer +28-29°C. In a year there are about 350 sunny days. From June to October there is a possibility of hurricanes.

The best time to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands is from mid-December to mid-July.

Features of Turks and Caicos Islands

Political organization

Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory. The nominal ruler of the islands is the British Queen, but local government is exercised by the government and parliament. The Turks and Caicos Executive Council (government) is headed by a governor. The Assembly (parliament) is partly elected and partly appointed.

The capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands is Cockburn Town on Grand Turk.


Turks and Caicos Islanders

The islands were uninhabited and colonized by the British from Bermuda before they were discovered by the Spanish in 1512. The British brought black slaves to work on the plantations.

At present the population of the islands is approx. The vast majority (about 85%) live on the island of Providenciales.

About 90% of the islanders are black, some are mulatto. Whites are mostly newcomers from the United States and Canada.

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English is the official language. Literate 99% of the population.

Most people are Christians of different (mainly Protestant) confessions. There are also about 50 Muslims in the islands. 50 Muslims.


The US dollar is the national currency of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Traveller’s cheques and major credit cards are accepted.

Customs regulations

Import and export of currency is not restricted. Individuals aged 18 years and over may bring duty-free up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 125g of tobacco products; up to 1.13 liters of alcoholic drinks or 2 liters of wine.

Importation of drugs and narcotics, pornography of all kinds, and harpoon guns for fishing is prohibited. A permit is required to bring firearms.


The Turks and Caicos Islands are in the time zone GMT-3 in summer and GMT-4 in winter.

Turks and Caicos Islands Visa

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter the Turks and Caicos Islands for up to 90 days.

How to get to Turks and Caicos Islands

There are no direct flights to Turks and Caicos from Moscow, but you can make a connection. A British Airways flight via London with a technical stop in the Bahamas is traditional. If your connecting time does not exceed 12 hours, you don’t need an English visa.

Turks & Caicos International Airport is located on Providenciales and its name is Providenciales International Airport (IATA code PLS , ICAO code MBPV).

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