Kilicdaroglu has doubled down on his resolve to send the nearly four million Syrians who have fled the civil war back to their homeland.
The promise represents his most concerted effort yet to win over right-wing voters, who propelled Erdogan to win the first round of votes.
Kilikdaroglu argues that the issue of migrants is not one of “race” but of “resources” during Turkey’s economic troubles.
He tries to soften the message by recalling his own humble upbringing in the Kurdish Alevi province of Tunceli.
Once he invited reporters to his pitch-black apartment to discuss his decision to stop paying his electricity bills.
It was a campaign-savvy statement of solidarity with Turkey’s inflation-hit voters that sought to bridge political divides.
“This is my struggle to claim your rights,” he said, glowing at his desk next to an old-fashioned lantern.