Turks and Caicos Islands

The 1852 lighthouse on Grand Turk

The Turks and Caicos Islands (play /ˈtɜrks/ and /ˈkkəs/ or /ˈkks/; abbreviated TCI) are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.

The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola. Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 1,042 kilometres (647 mi) east-southeast of Miami in the United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres (170 sq mi). The islands are geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, but are politically a separate entity.

The total population is about 45,000, of whom approximately 22,500 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands.

In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos' self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. The prerogative of the ministerial government and the House of Assembly were vested in the islands' incumbent governor, Ric Todd, for a period of up to two years. The islands will however return to home rule after the November 2012 elections.

Turks and Caicos Islands
430 km²
20,556 hab.

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