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Abstract

Reconstructions of the Anatolian continent and adjacent areas assume the existence of one or more continental fragments during Mesozoic–Early Cenozoic time. These rifted from North Africa (Gondwana) during the Triassic, drifted across the Mesozoic Tethys and collided with Eurasia during latest Cretaceous–Paleocene time. Current reconstructions range from a regional-scale Tauride–Anatolide continent with oceanic basins to the north and south, to numerous rifted continental fragments separated by small oceanic basins. Field-based evidence for the inter-relations of the continental blocks and associated carbonate platforms is discussed and evaluated here, especially to distinguish between sutured oceans and intra-continental convergence zones. Several crustal units are restored as different parts of one large Tauride–Anatolide continent, whereas several smaller crustal units (e.g. Kırşehir massif; Bitlis/Pütürge and Alanya/Kyrenia units) are interpreted as continental fragments bordered by oceanic crust. We infer a relatively wide İzmir–Ankara–Erzincan ocean in the north and also a wide South Neotethyan ocean in the south. Several smaller oceanic strands (e.g. Inner Tauride ocean, Berit ocean and Alanya ocean) were separated by continental fragments. Our proposed reconstructions are shown on palaeotectonic maps for Late Permian to Mid-Miocene. The reconstructions have interesting implications for crustal processes, including ophiolite genesis and emplacement.

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