Metamorphic studies in the cover sequences of the Bitlis complex allow the thermal evolution of the massif to be constrained using metamorphic index minerals. Regionally distributed metamorphic index minerals such as glaucophane, carpholite, relics of carpholite in chloritoid-bearing schists and pseudomorphs after aragonite in marbles record a LT-HP evolution:This demonstrates that the Bitlis complex was subducted and stacked to form a nappe complex during the closure of the Neo-Tethys. During late Cretaceous to Cenozoic evolution the Bitlis complex experienced peak metamorphism of 1.0-1.1 GPa at 350-400 degrees C. During the retrograde evolution temperatures remained below 460 degrees C. Ar-39/Ar-40 dating of white mica in different parageneses from the Bitlis complex reveals a 74-79 Ma (Campanian) date of peak metamorphism and rapid exhumation to an almost isothermal greenschist stage at 67-70 Ma (Maastrichtian). The HP Eocene flysch escaped the greenschist facies stage and were exhumed under very cold conditions. These single stage evolutions contrast with the multistage evolution reported further north from the Amassia-Stepanavan Suture in Armenia. Petrological investigations and isotopic dating show that the collision of Arabia with Eurasia resulted in an assemblage of different blocks derived from the northern as well as from the southern plate and a set of subduction zones producing HP rocks with diverse exhumation histories.