The well-preserved magmatic arc in the eastern Pontides orogenic belt of northeastern Turkey offers critical clues on convergent margin tectonics associated with the late Mesozoic-early Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the eastern Mediterranean region. Here we investigate the petrology, geochemistry, and U-Pb zircon chronology of adakitic intrusions from the Pulur region in the southern zone of the eastern Pontides belt. The intermediate to felsic intrusives in the Pulur region are characterized by the presence of abundant plagioclase, amphibole, and biotite phenocrysts. The rocks display extreme light rare earth element enrichment (LaNYbN = 13.69-51.08); high Al2O3 (15.46-17.47 wt%), Na2O (3.57-8.43 wt%), Sr (324.8-1468 ppm), and La (13.9-55.8 ppm) concentrations; a high Sr/Y ratio (35-473); and low Y (3-12.6 ppm) and heavy rare earth element concentrations, closely comparing with the typical features of adakites. Zircons extracted from the Pulur adakites show euhedral crystal shapes, oscillatory zoning patterns, and high Th/U ratios (up to 3.33) consistent with their magmatic origin. Their Pb-206/U-238 ages show a range of 55.21-53.07 Ma, correlating the magmatism to the early Eocene. We propose a tectonic model involving the initiation of a slab rollback and simultaneous opening of a slab window during ridge subduction in a south-dipping subduction zone for the origin of the Tertiary adakitic and nonadakitic magmatism in the eastern Pontides orogenic belt. We also identify a close relation between slab rollback processes and backarc extension, which led to the opening of the Tertiary basins in the southern part of the eastern Pontide orogenic belt. The eastern Pontide orogenic belt is one of the world's largest metallogenic provinces, and it hosts various economic mineralizations such as volcanogenic massive sulfide, epithermal gold-silver, porphyry copper-molybdenum, skarn-type, and chromite. However, the adakitic intrusions exposed in the southern part of the eastern Pontide orogenic belt are devoid of ore deposits, which leads us to propose that the Lutetian or later nonadakitic granitic intrusions exposed at the north of the Gumushane-Bayburt-Ispir line were probably responsible for the epithermal gold mineralization in this belt.