This paper investigates the factors that determined the party preferences in the 1987 and 1991 general elections and the 1989 local election in Istanbul, Turkey's largest metropolitan city. It argues that parry preference is essentially an aspect of individual political behavior, which should be explained by the characteristics of individuals who are, in turn, affected by various macro factors. Theories developed for industrialized western countries are of limited use in developing countries and in need of revision. The research finds evidence for the importance of previous voting preferences and religious attitudes for the 1987 general election and the 1989 local elections. Predictions for the 1991 general election seem to be determined by region of birth, age, media followup, job status, political attitudes, years of residence in Istanbul, father's education, social class, the number of steps in migrating to Istanbul and the number of income-earners in the household.