The tectonic setting of the southern Menderes Massif, part of the western Anatolide belt in western Turkey, is characterized by the exhumation of deeper crustal levels onto the upper crust during the Eocene. The lowermost tectonic units of the Menderes Massif are exposed in the Çine Massif, where Proterozoic basement orthogneisses of the Çine nappe are in tectonic contact with Palaeozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Selimiye nappe. In the southern Çine Massif, orthogneiss and metasedimentary rocks are separated by the southerly dipping Selimiye shear zone, preserving top-to-the-S shearing under greenschist facies conditions. In contrast, in the western Çine Massif, the orthogneiss is deformed and mylonitic near the contact with the metasedimentary rocks. The geometry of the mylonite zone and the observed shear directions change from north to southwest. In the north, the mylonite zone dips shallowly to the north, with top-to-the-N shear sense indicators showing northward thrusting of the orthogneiss over the metasedimentary rocks. In the southwest, the mylonite zone resembles a steep N–S striking strike-slip shear zone associated with top-to-the-SSW sense of shear. Overall, the geometry of the mylonite shear zone is consistent with northward movement of the orthogneiss relative to the metasedimentary rocks. Different shear senses are attributed to strain partitioning.
AFM diagrams and P–T pseudosections with mineral parageneses of metasedimentary rocks of the Selimiye nappe and metasedimentary enclaves within the orthogneiss of the Çine nappe indicate a single Barrovian-type metamorphism. An earlier higher pressure phase is evident from staurolite–chloritoid inclusions in garnets of the Çine nappe, suggesting a clockwise P–T path. A similar path is inferred for the Selimiye nappe. Index minerals and the sequence of mineral parageneses point to a single amphibolite facies metamorphic event affecting metasedimentary rocks of both nappes, which predates Eocene emplacement of the high pressure–low temperature Lycian and Cycladic blueschist nappes. Northward thrusting of the orthogneiss onto the metasedimentary rocks of the Selimiye nappe is coeval with amphibolite facies metamorphism. Recently postulated polymetamorphism cannot be supported by this study. Petrological data provide no evidence for burial of the lower units of the Menderes Massif to depth greater than 30 km during closure of the Neo-Tethys. A major pre-Eocene tectonic event associated with top-to-the-N thrusting and Barrovian-type metamorphism could lend support to the idea of a Neo-Tethys (sensu stricto) suture south of the Menderes Massif and below the Lycian nappes.