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Studies of democratization in the 1980s and 1990s after the second-wave of military regimes across the world investigated the process from various angles, each focusing on its specific dimensions and actors. This study analyzes the Turkish experience of re-democratization preceded by a relatively short military regime (1980-1983) from the perspective of political parties. It deals with both the trajectory of democratization and the reconstruction of political parties as institutions. Turkish democratization has turned out to be a protracted process extending into the late 1990s-and even continuing today--, and it has unfolded through a series of political reforms. While the Turkish military has retained its tutelary and supervisory role, political parties emerged as the critical actors in the reform process. This study looks closely into the identities and strategies of Turkey's major political parties and party elites who held power in the first decade after the transition from military rule. It analyzes how parties have met the double challenge of institutionalizing and of democratizating the political system amidst internal and external pressures.