The TCI have had their own government since 1976, and have been largely independent of Britain since the 1960s, making Westminster's decision to assert power over the islands all the more controversial.
The island's premier, Galmo Williams, said his country was "being invaded and re-colonised by the United Kingdom". He accused the Foreign Office of "dismantling a duly elected government and legislature and replacing it with a one-man dictatorship".
But many outside the political elite have rejoiced at the news, saying the move was long overdue. They claim corruption had created a climate of fear in which people were scared to speak out for fear of being targeted.
Writing in the TCI Journal, a website that has been critical of the islands' politicians, Shaun Malcolm, a long-time civic leader, declared his country's "long nightmare" had ended. Malcolm said: "As is being said often in the US by some civic participants, 'Never let a crisis go to waste'. My hope is that the Turks and Caicos will emerge now from this period of repression as a stronger society, and that we as a people will use this opportunity to rebuild our institutions wisely."
Another resident declared on the website that a "new dawn breaks in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands... after six years of dictatorial rule, founded on ignorance and arrogance".
The comments followed a decision last week by a Foreign Office minister, Chris Bryant, to instruct the governor of the Turks & Caicos, Gordon Wetherell, to bring into force an order suspending the islands' government and its House of Assembly for up to two years.
The suspension went ahead after a legal challenge by former premier Michael Misick failed. It was recommended by Sir Robin Auld, a former British judge, whose commission of inquiry looked into allegations of corruption by elected members of the islands' legislature.
The inquiry raised questions about the nature of the relationship between the islands' politicians, including Misick, and several foreign property developers. Misick and his deputy, Floyd Hall, have denied impropriety.
Wetherell denied the decision to suspend the islands' parliament amounted to a "British takeover" and said "most people in the Turks and Caicos will join with me in welcoming these changes".
"Public services will continue to be run by people of the Turks and Caicos Islands," Wetherell said. "But I hope we can now begin to run them better. Our goal is to make a clean break from the mistakes of the past by establishing a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development."