Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was used to determine the timing of initial dune formation and reconstruct the evolution of coastal dunes that developed on the Kavak Delta, Saros Gulf, Turkey. Along a 500-m-long representative transect, dune sands were extracted from foredune, semistable (grey) dune, stable (dark) dune and dune-swamp boundary defined by a scarp 50-75 cm high. The data obtained showed that dune drift initiated 670 years ago. A pumice layer 15-20-cm-thick interbedded with marine clay and sand showed an OSL age of 340 years coinciding with underlying dune sand. XRF analysis showed that pumices were of similar composition to those erupted by plinian activity of Thera (Santorini) in 1628 BC. On the basis of OSL ages, these deposits, which are widely distributed on the western Anatolian coasts of Turkey, might have presumably transported landward along tide channels on the delta during a tsunami event that occurred in 1672 near Bozcaada and Kos islands according to tsunami history of the Aegean Sea.