The stratigraphic succession exposed in the Karaburun area (southern Black Sea coast, NW Turkey) records multiple changes in depositional and tectonic settings during Cenozoic times. It starts with the Middle–Upper Eocene Soğucak Formation of reef limestone that across a normal fault, omitting the lower part of the Lower Oligocene Ceylan Formation (deep-marine shale unit), abuts the upper part of the Ceylan Formation that is made up of two facies: (1) shallow-marine sandstone and (2) shallow-marine limestone units containing horizons of submarine slumps. Both facies are unconformably overlain by the fluvial Upper Miocene Çukurçeşme Formation. The tectonic record includes: (1) latest Eocene – Early Oligocene NE–SW extension, (2) Early Oligocene NE–SW shortening and (3) Late Miocene NW–NE extension. The earliest normal faults cutting the Soğucak and the lower part of the Ceylan formations are associated with clastic dykes injected into the deep-marine shale. These structures suggest a disruption of the Eocene carbonate platform and are also known in the neighbouring Thrace Basin. The following NE–SW shortening created the NE-vergent Karaburun Thrust that is synchronous with the shallowing and inversion of the Ceylan Basin. Rotation of the stress field is recorded by changes in clastic dyke orientation and their deformation. Compression caused multiple westerly directed submarines slides from uplifts in easterly located regions. This event is not recorded in the Thrace Basin. Finally, the Miocene tectonic activity formed NW- and NE-striking normal faults. The outlined tectonic history includes Early Oligocene extensional and compressional episodes recorded in the southern margin of the Black Sea that had hitherto not been known.