From Hurriyat Daily News (since they're still publishing we can assume they speak for the government), Dec. 1:
Operation in Syria only targets terror, Erdoğan clarifies
Turkey’s military operation in Syria is not against any country or person but terror groups in general, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in contrast to earlier remarks that Turkey’s objective was to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following.*The precedent is already established, the one used in "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks", see below....
“The aim of the Euphrates Shield Operation is no country or person but only terror organizations. No one should doubt this issue that we have uttered over and over, and no one should comment on it in another fashion or try to [misrepresent its meaning],” Erdoğan said at a 30th gathering with village chiefs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Dec. 1.
On Nov. 29, Erdoğan sought to explain the reason for Ankara’s military offensive into Syria, saying: “We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason.”
Erdoğan referred to the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation that was launched on Aug. 24, after Ankara and Moscow began new dialogue over the course of developments in Syria. Turkey said its aim was to secure the border from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to stop People’s Protection Unit (YPG) efforts to link its cantons in northern Syria.
Erdoğan’s remarks on Nov. 29 created unease in Moscow, as senior officials publicly criticized the Turkish government and expressed their demand for an explanation. The issue was also raised by Vladimir Putin, who talked to Erdoğan on the phone on Nov. 30 while the latter was chairing a National Security Council (MGK) meeting....MORE
... And back to the Cossacks. A couple weeks ago we posted "Little Has Changed Between Turkey, Russia Despite Reconciliation" with this introduction:
Whenever I think about Turkish-Russian relations I think of this painting:
... That's "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks" by Repin, hanging in the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
As the story goes, in 1676 the Turkish Sultan, despite being beaten by the Cossacks when he tried to invade what is now southern Ukraine, demanded these guys surrender and submit to Turkish rule.
As can be seen, the Cossacks thought this was the funniest thing they had ever heard and wrote a letter in response.
A very profane, very defiant, very vulgar, very contemptuous letter.
These old boys just cracked themselves up with their letter.
And that's what I think of when I think of Russians and Turks.