The Adana Basin of southern Turkey, located at the SE margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau in the vicinity of the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone, is ideally suited to record Neogene and Quaternary topographic and tectonic changes in the easternmost Mediterranean realm. On the basis of our correlation of 34 seismic reflection profiles with corresponding exposed units along the margins of the Adana Basin, we identify and characterize the seismic facies that corresponds to the upper part of the Messinian Handere Formation (ca.5.45 to 5.33Ma), which consists mainly of fluvial conglomerates and marls. The seismic reflection profiles indicate that ca.1100km(3) of the Handere Formation upper sub-unit is distributed over ca.3000km(2), reflecting local sedimentation rates of up to 12.5mmyear(-1). This indicates a major increase in both sediment supply and subsidence rates at ca.5.45Ma. Our provenance analysis of the Handere Formation upper sub-unit based on clast counting and palaeocurrent measurements reveals that most of the sediment is derived from the Taurus Mountains at the SE margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau and regions farther north. A comparison of these results with the composition of recent fluvial conglomerates and the present-day drainage basins indicates major changes between late Messinian and present-day source areas. We suggest that these changes in drainage patterns and lithological characteristics result from uplift and ensuing erosion of the SE margin of the plateau. We interpret the tectonic evolution of the southern flank of the Anatolian Plateau and the coeval subsidence and sedimentation in the Adana Basin to be related to deep lithospheric processes, particularly lithospheric delamination and slab break-off.