Interpretation of the Z-shaped bend geometry of the Carpathian – Balkan orogenic belt as being oroclinal in origin is supported by 1) the continuity of accreted terranes about both bends, 2) variance in structural vergence as a function of change in orogenic strike, and 3) space constraints imposed by issues associated with palinspastic restoration of orogenic shortening with the belt in its current geometry. A classic paleomagnetic orocline test cannot be applied to the Carpathian – Balkan belt given the currently available paleomagnetic data. However, available declination data show that large age progressive vertical rotations in the southern limb of the Carpathian bend 1) are consistent with it having originally been linear and 2) demonstrate that rotation was coeval with significant Late Eocene to Pliocene northward displacement of the Eastern Mediterranean region. A simple geometric model establishes that just over 1000 km northwestward displacement of the eastern Mediterranean at a modest rate of 3.5 cm∙yr-1 can be accommodated by an equivalent amount of shortening through oroclinal buckling of an originally linear northwest-southeast striking Carpathian – Balkan orogen. The latitudinal component of eastern Mediterranean displacement is explained by ongoing westward tectonic escape of the Aegean – Anatolian block out of the Arabian – Eurasian collision zone, suggesting that that Carpathian – Balkan oroclines provide a record crustal scale deformation associated with continental escape out of an active collision zone.