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Turks and Caicos Islands

Written by Staff Writer

Country Overview:
The islands were part of the UK’s Jamaican colony 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 remain a British overseas territory.

Caribbean, two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas, north of Haiti

Geographic coordinates:
21 45 N, 71 35 W

Total: 430 sq km, land: 430 sq km, water: 0 sq km

Area – Comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

389 km

Tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry

Low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps

Elevation extremes:
Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest Point:
Blue Hills 49 m

Natural Resources:
Spiny lobster, conch

22,352 (July 2008 est.)



Ethnic groups:
Black 90%, mixed, European, or North American 10%

Baptist 40%, Anglican 18%, Methodist 16%, Church of God 12%, other 14% (1990)

English (official)

Country Name:
Turks and Caicos Islands

Government Type:
NA overseas territory of the UK

Capital Name:
Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)

Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)

National Holiday:
Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)

Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2006 (effective 9 August 2006)

Legal System:
Based on laws of England and Wales, with a few adopted from Jamaica and The Bahamas

Executive Branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Gordon WETHERELL (since 5 August 2008)

Head of Government:
Premier Michael Eugene MISICK (chief minister since 15 August 2003, sworn in as premier on 9 August 2006); note – the office of premier was created in the 2006 constitution

Cabinet consists of the governor, the premier, six ministers appointed by the governor from among the members of the House of Assembly, and the attorney general

Elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is appointed premier by the governor

About the author

Staff Writer