New thermochronological data show that rapid Middle Miocene exhumation occurred synchronously along the Bitlis suture zone and in the southeastern Black Sea region, arguably as a far-field effect of the Arabia–Eurasia indentation. Collision-related strain focused preferentially along the rheological boundary between the multideformed continental lithosphere of northeastern Anatolia and the strong (quasi)oceanic lithosphere of the eastern Black Sea. Deformation in the southeastern Black Sea region ceased in late Middle Miocene time, when coherent westward motion of Anatolia and the corresponding activation of the North and East Anatolian Fault systems mechanically decoupled portions of the foreland from the Arabia–Eurasia collision zone.

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