Turkey’s all-powerful President Erdogan is in the fight of his life against an opposition that has united against him for Sunday’s elections.
His main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu appeared before a throng of supporters on Friday, flanked by allies from across the political spectrum who have come together as never before.
As the rain beat down in Ankara, he vowed to restore “peace and democracy”.
The man he wants voters to oust after 20 years – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – said he had kept Turkey standing tall despite many challenges, including the economy with its rampant inflation and February’s catastrophic double earthquakes.
At 74, the opposition leader is often described as soft-spoken, but he gave a powerful speech to an audience that believes this is their best hope so far of reclaiming power from a president who has taken it away from parliament and increased his own dramatically.
Mr Kilicdaroglu is slightly ahead in the opinion polls and his supporters have dared to dream he might win outright on Sunday, with more than 50% of the vote, rather than face a run-off two weeks later.
Firat, one of five million first-time voters, said he was delighted at conservatives and nationalists appearing on the same platform as the head of the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Here was nationalist Meral Aksener, the only female leader in the six-strong alliance, and there was Temel Karamollaoglu, who fronts the pro-Islamist Felicity party.
Mr Kilicdaroglu’s party is secular to the core, but he has worked hard to reach out to women who wear the headscarf. The six parties have rallied under the slogan Haydi (Come on!) and a campaign song of the same name.