Lithospheric drips have been interpreted for various regions around the globe to account for the recycling of the continental lithosphere and rapid plateau uplift. However, the validity of such hypothesis is not well documented in the context of geological, geophysical and petrological observations that are tested against geodynamical models. Here we propose that the folding of the Central Anatolian (Kirsehir) arc led to thickening of the lithosphere and onset of "dripping" of the arc root. Our geodynamic model explains the seismic data showing missing lithosphere and a remnant structure characteristic of a dripping arc root, as well as enigmatic >1 km uplift over the entire plateau, Cappadocia and Galatia volcanism at the southern and northern plateau margins since similar to 10 Ma, respectively. Models show that arc root removal yields initial surface subsidence that inverts >1 km of uplift as the vertical loading and crustal deformation change during drip evolution.