The Pontides are characterized by a series of Mesozoic-Cenozoic fold belts comprising a N-vergent fore-land fold and thrust belt in the Western Pontides and a concave, upward-shaped fold belt in the Eastern Pontides. The curvature of the fold belt follows the Caucasus which may imply a phase of oroclinal bending. In order to test whether the fold curvature represents a phase of oroclinal bending, a paleomagnetic study has been carried out in the Eastern Pontides on late Cretaceous and middle Eocene volcanic and sedimentary rocks from 29 sites. Rock magnetic studies reveal medium-temperature components with an unblocking temperature of 400-580 degrees C, indicating pseudo-single domain titanomagnetite as the most abundant carrier of magnetic remanence in the middle Eocene rocks studied here. In the upper Cretaceous rocks, a high-temperature component with an unblocking range of 580-650 degrees C was isolated. Stepwise thermal and alternating field demagnetization isolated two components of remanent magnetization in middle Eocene rocks comprising a low unblocking temperature/coercivity component near the present field direction and a characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) component of D(s)= 332.3 degrees, I(s)=49.9 degrees (k= 33.3, alpha(95) = 9.2 degrees, N= 15 sites). A positive fold test at a 95% confidence level and a reversal test indicate a primary magnetization. Component analysis of the upper Cretaceous rocks identifies a stable ChRM D(s) = 160.3, I(s)= 45.0 degrees, (k = 85.6, alpha(95) = 6.0 degrees, N= 8 sites) following removal of secondary remanence. Their ChRM direction passes fold and reversal tests at a 95% confidence level. Both the upper Cretaceous and middle Eocene paleomagnetic data from the Eastern Pontides and the Lesser Caucasus clearly demonstrate evidence of oroclinal bending that occurred contemporaneouslywith the convergence between Arabia and Eurasia in the Paleocene. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.