N. Gorur* and O. Tuysuz**
*Tubitak Mam, 41470Gebze,, Turkey.
**Istanbul Technical University, Eurasian Institute of Earth Sciences, 80626, Maslak, Turkey.
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The Cretaceous to Miocene palaeogeographic development of Turkey in general reflects the evolution of the various oceanic branches of Neo-Tethys together with interactions between the Laurasian and Gondwanan margins. At the beginning of the Cretaceous, the first-order palaeotectonic units which make up present-day Turkey either formed parts of these supercontinents or were isolated continental blocks within the Neo-Tethys. In Aptian to Albian times, north-dipping subduction commenced along the southern margins of these units and resulted in the development of magmatic arcs and arc-related sedimentary basins. Coeval with the start of subduction, large-scale ophiolite obduction occurred on the units passive margins. Terminal closure of the oceans branches took place between the latest Cretaceous and the Miocene, forming the Anatolian orogenic collage whose outline defines present-day Turkey. Post-collisional intra-continental convergence continued until the late Miocene and resulted in north-south shortening of the collage. This shortening led to internal imbrication, thrusting and crustal thickening. It forced the Anatolian landmass westwards, away from east Anatolia where there has been continuous north-south compression since the Miocene between Laurasia and the Arabian Platform.
Both the continental and the oceanic palaeotectonic units pose significant problems regarding their original geometry, size, depth, extent, contact relations, motion paths, subduction polarity, stratigraphy and timing of formation. Clarification of these issues is essential if the units original paleogeographic relationships with respect to Neo-Tethys are to be reconstructed. This paper reviews some of these problems with the aid of a number of palinspastic and non-palinspastic maps. These maps are intended to provide a basis for evaluating the hydrocarbon potential of Turkey.