Peter Kenyon

Peter Kenyon is NPR's international correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Prior to taking this assignment in 2010, Kenyon spent five years in Cairo covering Middle Eastern and North African countries from Syria to Morocco. He was part of NPR's team recognized with two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards for outstanding coverage of post-war Iraq.

In addition to regular stints in Iraq, he has followed stories to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco and other countries in the region.

Arriving at NPR in 1995, Kenyon spent six years in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of positions including as a correspondent covering the US Senate during President Bill Clinton's second term and the beginning of the President George W. Bush's administration.

Kenyon came to NPR from the Alaska Public Radio Network. He began his public radio career in the small fishing community of Petersburg, where he met his wife Nevette, a commercial fisherwoman.

Pages

Middle East
5:30 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Kurdish Fighters Enter Kobani To Help Battle ISIS Extremists

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
3:47 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

In Southeast Turkey, A Long History Of Bloodshed And Worship

The pillars at Gobekli Tepe resemble those at Stonehenge — but predate them by several thousand years.
J. Pfeiffer DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 7:46 pm

The Urfa plain in southeastern Turkey — not far from where Syrian refugees watch fighters from the so-called Islamic State wage a brutal war in the name of a primitive version of their faith — is one of the most fought-over landscapes in human civilization.

But on the plain — soaked in blood since the days when Sumerian and Assyrian kings ruled Mesopotamia — there's a place that's even older, so old that its denizens hadn't mastered the arts of pottery, writing or making war.

Read more
Parallels
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Syria's 'Moderate Rebels' Say They Are Willing, But Need Weapons

A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after attacking a tank with a rocket-propelled grenade during fighting in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012. The rebels say they are willing to take on the Islamic State, but need more weapons.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 10:26 pm

The American-led coalition opposing the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is starting to move toward vetting and training ground forces to do battle in both countries.

But it's a slow process, and it comes after years of frustrations for veterans of the Free Syrian Army, or the FSA, who have gathered in southeastern Turkey, a place with a long history of epic battles and religious fights.

Read more
Parallels
3:35 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Kurds Hoping To Fight ISIS In Kobani Are Trapped By Turkish Suspicions

Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border on Wednesday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Syrian defenders of the mainly Kurdish border town of Kobani say an increase in coalition airstrikes — and better coordination with the air support — have helped them hold off the more heavily armed fighters from the so-called Islamic State.

Read more
Middle East
4:31 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Battlefronts In Kobani Don't Break Cleanly Along Ethic Or Sectarian Lines

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 4:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
4:23 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

For Turkey, Aiding In Kobani Fight Is Complicated

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
5:16 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Turkey Pressed To Intervene In Border Town's Fight Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Middle East
9:09 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Progress In Nuclear Talks With Iran Is Still Glacial

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 11:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
11:11 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Rouhani: Western Powers Have Helped Globalize Terrorism

"Today's anti-Westernism is a reaction to yesterday's racism," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.
Jason DeCrow AP

Iran's president brought an unsettling message to the United Nations on Thursday: Middle Eastern terrorism has been globalized, in part thanks to mistakes made by Western powers, and the threat cannot be eliminated by outside force alone.

President Hassan Rouhani, feted at last year's U.N. General Assembly as a welcome change from his combative predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told the world body that his part of the world is "burning in the fire of extremism and radicalism."

Read more
Middle East
4:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks Have A Different Tone This Time Around

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:08 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
3:34 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Amid Warnings Of Ethnic Cleansing, A Yazidi Man's Suicide Resonates

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle under a bridge in central Dahuk, Aug. 14. Human rights activists say evidence of the Islamic State's violence against the Yazidis points to war crimes, and amounts to ethnic cleansing.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 8:48 am

With so many members of Iraq's Yazidi religious minority killed, abducted or left homeless in recent weeks, one more death — due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound — might almost pass unnoticed. But friends and family of 33-year-old Naif Khalif Omar say his suicide is resonating in a community that sees only a bleak future ahead.

Read more
Iraq
5:40 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Islamic State Suffers Rare Defeat In Amerli

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 6:45 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Read more
Iraq
7:46 am
Sun August 31, 2014

U.S. Launches Airstrikes To Help Aid Reach Iraqi Town

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 1:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
10:17 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Life Under The Islamic State: Sharia Law And Few Services

An Iraqi child walks next an empty house of a Christian family in Mosul on Aug. 8. The Arabic writing on the wall reads "Real Estate of the Islamic State." The extremist group took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June.
STR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Ever since the Islamic State seized Mosul more than two months ago, it's been difficult to get a detailed picture of life inside Iraq's second largest city.

Read more
Parallels
12:08 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months

Friar Gabriel Tooma leads a service at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in Al-Qosh on June 15. At the time, the Christian village in northern Iraq was taking in those fleeing violence in the nearby city of Mosul. Now the village itself is largely deserted.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:09 am

The northern Iraqi village of Al-Qosh was humming with activity — and some jitters — when NPR visited back in June. The Assyrian Christian villagers had opened their schools and homes to Iraqis fleeing the takeover of nearby Mosul by Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State.

Read more
Crime In The City
3:26 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Mystery Writer Finds Istanbul's Byzantine Past Hiding In Plain Sight

The Hagia Sophia is one of the city's most well-known Byzantine monuments, but it's also home to a lesser-known memorial: a plaque for the man who encouraged the Fourth Crusade's plundering of the city.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 3:20 pm

Istanbul makes an exotic first impression: Boat traffic on the Bosporus sends waves brushing up against the shores of both Europe and Asia as enormous mosques and monuments from previous empires stand guard.

The city wears its history more openly than many, but that doesn't mean it's always easy to find. So writer Selcuk Altun spins mysteries that take his heroes into forgotten corners of the city, where once-majestic monuments go unnoticed amid the bustle of modern life.

Read more
Iraq
11:50 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Kurdish Forces Say They're Waiting For U.S. Weapons

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter on the front line in Bashiqa, a village near Mosul.
Ahmad al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 12:53 pm

Iraq's ethnic Kurds are longtime U.S. allies and have put up the toughest resistance to the Sunni extremists in the so-called Islamic State that has captured swaths or Iraq's north and west.

They're getting help from U.S. air strikes, but also need heavier weapons of their own to match the firepower of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Weapons have been promised by the U.S. and other countries, but getting them through the central government in Baghdad has hampered the mission, according to Kurdish commanders.

Read more
Parallels
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Embattled Yazidis Say They Are Now Enduring Atrocity No. 74

Abbas Soullo, a Yazidi man, shows his bullet wounds at a camp for the displaced in northern Iraq, near the Syrian border. He says he is the only survivor of 58 Yazidi men who were rounded up and shot on Aug. 3 in the town of Jazira.
Peter Kenyon NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 10:55 pm

A massacre of members of the Yazidi minority in the Iraqi town of Kocho made headlines last week. Around 80 men were killed by militants from the so-called Islamic State, the extremist group that has swept through much of northern Iraq.

But that was not the only massacre, according to the Yazidis. In a camp for the displaced near the Syrian border, people call 21-year-old Abbas Khader Soullo a walking miracle. To explain why, he unbuttons his shirt and shows his bullet wounds.

Read more
Iraq
8:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Islamic Militants Kill Dozens Of Yazidis In Northern Iraq

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 11:39 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
5:07 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

U.S. Airstrikes Seek To Turn Back Militant Tide From Iraqi Dam

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages