Hydrocarbon-bearing Thrace Basin occupies much of the European part of Turkey. The Middle Eocene to Oligocene sequence in the centre of the basin exceeds 9 km in thickness. Based on the stratigraphy, structure and the regional context of this basin, we propose that it developed as a fore-arc basin between the medial Eocene and the Oligocene, above the northward subducting Intra-Pontide Ocean. Its post-Miocene history has been dominated mainly by wrench tectonics resulting from the activity of the now-deactivated northwestern strand of the present-day North Anatolian fault zone. © Springer-Verlag 1996.