In this study, the lignite bearing sediments of Cardak-Tokca basin exposed in southwest Anatolia, were palynologically examined. A well preserved and diverse palynomorph assemblage indicating an Early Oligocene age was recovered from the Hayrettin and Tokca formations. The palynomorph assemblage is dominated by Pinus, Sparganiaceae, Juglandaceae and diverse tricolpate and tricolporate pollen. In addition a few species of marine dinoflagellate cysts were encountered as well. The Early Oligocene age is based primarily on the presence of stratigraphic markers such as: Boehlensipollis hohli, Slowakipollis hippophaeoides. Aglaoreidia cyclops, Dicolpopollis kockeli, Compositoipollenites rhizophorus ssp. burghasungensis, Mediocolpopollis compactus ssp. ellenhausensis, Pentapollenites pentangulus. Subtriporopollenites simplex and Intratriporopollenites instructus. Palynological data indicate a humid subtropical climatic conditions during the deposition of the Cardak-Tokca sediments. Ecological analysis of the palynomorph assemblage identifies several paleo-associations of montana, lowland and slope, swamp and water-edge and freshwater aquatic elements. In this study, Cardak-Tokca, Cankiri-Corum, Thrace and southwest Anatolian molasse basins (Kale-Tavas and Denizli) were correlated in accordance with their palynostratigraphic content and the results show that the deposition took place during the Early Oligocene in the Cardak-Tokca basin. This basin is older than Thrace basin and southwest Anatolian molasse basins (Kale-Tavas and Denizli molasse) which were deposited during the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene. (c) 2005 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.