The present paper demonstrates that exposed semi-brittle-brittle detachment fault zones, in addition to footwall mylonites and syn-extensional granitoids, can be used to date the timing of faulting and constrain the history and evolution of metamorphic core complexes. We employed Rb-Sr geochronology on micas, sampled directly from a part of the Simav detachment fault (SDF) zone in the northern Menderes Massif (western Turkey). The exposed part of the fault zone is marked by similar to 3-m thick zone of low-grade mylonites/foliated cataclasites, in which mylonitic fabrics in orthogneisses are overprinted by fabrics of semi-brittle deformation. The low-grade mylonites/foliated cataclasites are characterized by coexistence of brown and green biotites. Rb-Sr ages on muscovite and brown and green biotite from the low-grade mylonites/foliated cataclasites are ca. 30 Ma, 17-13 Ma and 12-10 Ma, respectively; green biotite ages are interpreted as dating fluid-assisted deformation-induced dynamic recrystallization and suggest that a part of the SDF was active during a 12-10 Ma interval. The ca. 30 Ma muscovite ages date dynamic crystallization and probably beginning of extensional exhumation of the northern Menderes Massif. The coexistence of brown and green biotites in the same sample indicates retrogressive processes associated within a detachment faulting during which green biotites have recrystallized from primary brown biotites with an age of 19 2 Ma in this area. This further means that the isotopic system became opened during faulting and that the green biotite ages therefore record the activity of the SDF. We have also dated an orthogneiss sample exposed well away from the detachment fault zone (devoid of any retrogressive processes); muscovites and biotites from this sample yield Rb-Sr ages of 45.7 +/- 0.6 and 18.17 +/- 0.18 Ma, respectively. The biotite age is in accord with regional biotite ages (19 +/- 2 Ma) and record cooling of the footwall rocks of the detachment fault. We argue that the ca. 46 Ma muscovite age record synkinematic recrystallization during, and lend credibility to interpretation of, the prograde Barrovian-type regional Main Menderes Metamorphism as an Eocene event and that, prior to the onset of extensional detachment formation, the northern Menderes Massif (or at least the rocks we measured) experienced Eocene temperatures in excess of 500 degrees C to get this age.