Melocactus (melon cactus), also known as the Turk’s cap cactus.. The red, wool-coated cephalium, said to resemble the Fez hat of Turkish male citizens during the late Ottoman Empire.

Turks Cap Cactus

The popular story is the name Turks being Turk’s Head “fez” cactus, and the name Caicos, a Lucayan term “caya hico,” meaning string of islands.

I saw there is another origin of the name is a reflection of the Islands’ pirate history, when 17th and 18th century pirates used the islands as hideouts and preyed upon the passing Spanish treasure ships bound for Europe. The term “Turk” for a pirate stemmed two centuries earlier when the Ottoman Empire dominated the Mediterranean and Turkish corsairs and arrived here as Pirates.


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