This paper describes a direct numerical simulation (DNS) study of turbulent flow over a rectangular trailing edge at a Reynolds number of 1000, based on the freestream quantities and the trailing edge thickness h; the incoming boundary layer displacement thickness δ* is approximately equal to h. The time-dependent inflow boundary condition is provided by a separate turbulent boundary layer simulation which is in good agreement with existing computational and experimental data. The turbulent trailing edge flow simulation is carried out using a parallel multi-block code based on finite difference methods and using a multi-grid Poisson solver. The turbulent flow in the near-wake region of the trailing edge has been studied first for the effects of domain size and grid resolution. Then two simulations with a total of 256 × 512 × 64 ( 8.4×106) and 512 × 1024 × 128 ( 6.7×107) grid points in the computational domain are carried out to investigate the key flow features. Visualization of the instantaneous flow field is used to investigate the complex fluid dynamics taking place in the near-wake region; of particular importance is the interaction between the large-scale spanwise, or Kármán, vortices and the small-scale quasi-streamwise vortices contained within the inflow boundary layer. Comparisons of turbulence statistics including the mean flow quantities are presented, as well as the pressure distributions over the trailing edge. A spectral analysis applied to the force coefficient in the wall normal direction shows that the main shedding frequency is characterized by a Strouhal number based on h of approximately 0.118. Finally, the turbulence kinetic energy budget is analysed.