The recent discovery of HP-LT parageneses in the basal unit of the Lycian nappes and in the Mesozoic cover of the Menderes massif leads us to reconsider and discuss the correlation of this region with the nearby collapsed Helle-nides in the Aegean domain. Although similarities have long been pointed out by various authors, a clear correlation has not yet been proposed and most authors insist more on differences than similarities. The Menderes massif is the eastern extension of the Aegean region but it has been less severely affected by the Aegean extension during the Oligo-Miocene. It would thus be useful to use the structure of the Menderes massif as an image of the Aegean region before a significant extension has considerably reduced its crustal thickness. But the lack of correlation between the two regions has so far hampered such comparisons. We describe the main tectonic units and metamorphic events in the two regions and propose a correlation. We then show possible sections of the two regions before the Aegean extension and discuss the involvement of continental basement in the Hellenic accretionary complex. In our interpretation the Hellenic-Tauric accretionary complex was composed of stacked basement and cover units which underwent variable P-T histories. Those which were not exhumed early enough later followed a high-T evolution which led to partial melting in the Cyclades during post-orogenic extension. Although the Menderes massif contains a larger volume of basement units it does not show significant evidence for the Oligo-Miocene migmatites observed in the center of the Cyclades suggesting that crustal partial melting is strictly related to post-orogenic extension in this case.