The Turks and Caicos Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom consisting of thirty islands. The thirty islands total 430 square kilometers. The capital of the islands is Cockburn Town which is located on Grand Turk Island. The total population of Turks and Caicos is approx. 36,000. Approximately 22,500 of the 36,000 people live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands. (Wikipedia, Turks and Caicos Islands) (Kids.com)
Turks and Caicos was first inhabited around 700 AD by people called Amerindians. Amerindians came from Hispaniola (Haiti and The Dominican Republic). Approximately 300 years after it was thought that the inhabitants created their own culture. Explorers found that this was true by looking at the inhabitants own unique pottery making styles. The islands of Turks and Caicos were governed by the British indirectly through Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica, this made the Turks and Caicos Islands part of Bahamas/Bahamian Archipelago. The people who inhabit the Bahamian islands/ Bahamian archipelago are known a Lucayans. (Wikipedia)
In 1512 Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León was the first European to sight the islands of Turks and Caicos. However, many historians also believe that Christopher Columbus could have sighted the islands on his 1492 voyage around the world. There was and still is a big debate in whether Juan Ponce de León first sighted the island or if Christopher Columbus first sighted the islands. In the 1600’s Spanish slavers would frequently raid the Turks and Caicos islands, enslaving the Lucayans that lived there, this depopulated the entire Bahamian archipelago. (Wikipedia)
Bermuda and Bahamas spent most of the 18th century in a legal conflict because of the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to British law no colonies could have colonies of its own, Turks and Caicos was not recognized by Britain as a part of Bermuda or a colony of its own right. The island is seen to be like the rivers in Britain, for the common public use. As a result, this created a lot of political uproar regarding the ownership of the Turks and Caicos Islands. (Wikipedia) Throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries Turks and Caicos had Spanish, French and British control, but none of these rulers ever created any settlements from their native people. Bermuda however had no trouble colinising the islands because in 1681 salt collectors from Bermuda built the first permanent settlement on Grand Turk Island. The salt collectors were drawn to Turks and Caicos by the shallow waters around the islands that made salt mining a much easier process than in Bermuda. The Bermudians only occupied the Turks seasonally, for six months a year, however, returning to Bermuda when it was no longer viable to rake salt. Pirates hid in the cays of the Turks and Caicos Islands From about 1690 to 1720, attacking Spanish treasure galleons to Spain from Cuba, Hispaniola and the Spanish possessions in Central America and Peru. (Software) ...