ability to assert positive influence

Discussion in 'English Only' started by meramli, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. meramli Senior Member

    from <<The New York Times, "Turkey's Eroding Democracy," by Fethullah Gulen>>: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/opinion/fethullah-gulen-turkeys-eroding-democracy.html?_r=0
    Turkey’s rulers have not only alienated the West, they are also now losing credibility in the Middle East. Turkey’s ability to assert positive influence in the region depends not only on its economy but also on the health of its own democracy.

    What does 'ability to assert positive influence' mean? Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2015
  2. jmichaelm Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English - US
    Here "assert positive influence" means "influence other countries in a positive way."

    You have to understand the writer's political point of view to guess what he thinks "positive" would mean.
  3. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I think the writer confused "assert" with "exert". "To exert an influence" is a common phrase.
    "Assert" is a verb of speech and doesn't belong with "influence".
  4. meramli Senior Member

    I found some expressions used 'assert influence' but I couldn't understand, what 'assert it's influence' mean below?

    China Uses Global Crisis to Assert Its Influence

    State Lawmakers Assert Influence Over Standards
  5. jmichaelm Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English - US
    I have no problem with the expression assert influence.

    "assert /əˈsɜːt/
    vb (transitive)
    • to insist upon (rights, claims, etc)
    • (may take a clause as object) to state to be true; declare categorically
    • to put (oneself) forward in an insistent manner"

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