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High-Mg ultrapotassic volcanic rock occurrences of lamproitic affinity are exposed in southwestern Anatolia, mostly within the Menderes Massif. From north to south the lamproitic volcanism shows increasingly younger ages ranging from 20 to 4 Ma. Volcanism is contemporaneous with more voluminous shoshonitic, high-K calc-alkaline, and ultrapotassic magmatic activity in the Simav–Selendi, Uşak, Kırka, Köroğlu, Afyon and Isparta–Gölcük areas. The southward decrease in the age of the volcanism correlates with changes in geochemical composition, particularly a decrease in 87Sr/86Sr, 207Pb/204Pb, Zr/Nb and Th/Nb, and an increase in 143Nd/144Nd, 176Hf/177Hf, 206Pb/204Pb, 208Pb/204Pb and Ce/Pb, thus delineating a systematic change from orogenic (crust-like) to anorogenic (convecting mantle-like) signatures. Rare earth element compositions of clinopyroxene phenocrysts demonstrate an increasing role for residual garnet for locations in the central parts of the Menderes Massif, indicating a lithosphere thickness greater than 80 km. In contrast, K2O abundances remain nearly constant at around 7%, indicating buffering by phlogopite in the mantle source. Magma genesis in southwestern Anatolia is controlled by post-collisional extensional events initiated after major lithospheric thickening. Geochemical constraints suggest that the mantle source experienced two main geodynamic stages. The first stage caused ultradepletion of the mantle and subsequent metasomatic enrichment, which allowed coupling of the geochemical signatures of ultradepleted harzburgite with those of crust-derived sediments. This happened during the final closure stages of the southern Neotethys Ocean and the accretion of forearc oceanic lithosphere (island-arc type), as shallowly subducted material to the Anatolian lithosphere. The second stage is post-collisional, and is related to the collapse of the orogenic belt and the development of extension-related horst and graben structures. This stage is concurrent with the initiation of a thermal anomaly originating from a gap, identified by seismic tomography, in the subducted slab under western Anatolia. We propose that the lithospheric mantle underwent intense ‘asthenospherization’ owing to lithosphere–asthenosphere interaction, caused by the southward expansion of this gap during slab roll-back. The geochemical resemblance of the lamproites to more voluminous, contemporaneous shoshonitic magmas implies their derivation from a heterogeneous mantle source that had been affected by similar processes. These mantle processes may be closely associated with the major episode of uplift in the Menderes Massif.