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.
Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution (Interim Amendment) Order 2009, S.I. 2009/701 - effective 14 August 2009 - suspended Ministerial government, the House of Assembly, and the constitutional right to trial by jury, and imposed direct British rule
the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
note:following an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption and misconduct within the Turks and Caicos Government, the UK foreign minister directed the governor to bring into effect on 14 August 2009 an Order in Council suspending Ministerial government and the House of Assembly, and imposing direct rule pending completion of reform milestones
under provisions of the Order in Council, the unicameral House of Assembly is dissolved and all seats vacated for a period of up to two years; in the interim, a Consultative Forum, appointed by the governor, will be established
last held on 9 February 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
under provisions of the Order in Council, all seats in the House of Assembly are vacated
blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the colonial shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield is yellow and displays a conch shell, a spiny lobster, and Turks Head cactus - three common elements of the islands' biota
The Turks and Caicos economy is based on tourism, offshore financial services, and fishing. Most capital goods and food for domestic consumption are imported. The US is the leading source of tourists, accounting for more than three-quarters of the 175,000 visitors that arrived in 2004. Major sources of government revenue also include fees from offshore financial activities and customs receipts.
general assessment: fully digital system with international direct dialing
full range of services available; GSM wireless service available
country code - 1-649; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber optic telecommunications submarine cable provides connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
while there are no local terrestrial TV stations, broadcasts from the Bahamas can be received; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; government-run radio network operates alongside private broadcasters with a total of about 15 stations broadcasting (2007)