Evolution of the east-west-trending Gokova Graben structure is related to the north-south extension of the Aegean segment of the Aegean-Anatolian Microplate. The Pliocene-Quaternary successions surrounding the onland portion of the Gokova Graben as well as coeval successions within the marine portion of the graben are cut by at least three families of faults that strike northwest-southeast, east-west and east-northeast-west-southwest. These orientations are inconsistent with a simple north-south extensional regime. Interpretation of seismic reflection profiles, multibeam bathymetty and GPS vectors indicates that the Gokova Graben developed as a lazy-S-shaped graben in the back-arc setting north of the Hellenic Arc. A counterclockwise rotation of the Aegean segment of the Aegean-Anatolian Microplate is the suggested mechanism for this geometry, as subduction zone rolled back occurred during the Pliocene-Quaternary. The Gulf of Gokova is the youngest of a series of basins that developed within this large back-arc system, including the Nisyros, Karpathos, and Kamilonisi basins, collectively named to as the Gokova-Nisyros-Karpathos Graben. It is proposed that this graben experienced a scissor-like opening initiating from the west during the Pliocene and progressing eastward during the Quaternary. Faults that are seemingly un-correlated onland and in the marine areas become remarkably aligned when the Marmaris-Rhodes Block is progressively rotated by 6 degrees counterclockwise relative to the Mugla Block using a pole position located within the Gulf of Gokova. The scissor-like opening of the westernmost regions of the Maya Graben likely occurred during the late Pliocene, whereas the central and eastern portions of the graben developed during the early-middle Pleistocene and late Pleistocene-Holocene, respectively. The onset of the opening of the westernmost segment of the Golcova-Nisyros-Karpathos Graben occurred at a time earlier than the late Pliocene. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.