The Karadere area to the east of Safranbolu in NW Anatolia is one of the very few localities in Turkey where the contact between the Cadomian basement and the Lower Palaeozoic transgressive succession is well exposed. The Ordovician graptolite Rhabdinopora flabelliformis (Eichwald) ssp. was found in the basal part of the Bakacak Formation, indicating an Early to early Late Tremadocian age for the beginning of the Palaeozoic transgression in the Zonguldak terrane. A few metres above this occurrence, another horizon contains Paradelograptus cf. antiquus (T. S. Hall), which mainly ranges into the Late Tremadocian. Higher up in the Ordovician succession, a new graptolite bed confirms an early Darriwilian (Dw1) age for the middle part of the Karadere Formation with the occurrence of the biozonal index Levisograptus austrodentatus (Harris & Keble) and the first record of Tetragraptus cor (Strandmark) in the area. The palaeobiogeographic distribution of these Karadere fossils is in agreement with a peri-Gondwanan affinity of the Zonguldak Terrane of the Pontides, NW Anatolia, during the Early-Middle Ordovician.