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.

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Middle East
5:54 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Cautious Optimism As Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:03 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Negotiators for Iran and six world powers returned to Switzerland to discuss limiting Iran's nuclear program. After reportedly coming close to a first-step deal earlier this month, some officials say an agreement is within reach this week. But critics warn a deal would be dangerous.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Geneva and has this report.

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Middle East
4:04 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Iran Nuclear Talks Break, To Resume Later This Month

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 5:52 am

Negotiators from Iran and a six-nation group are scheduled to resume talks on Iran's nuclear program in 10 days. Talks ended on Saturday after an agreement was not reached on an initial proposal to ease international sanctions against Tehran in return for some restraints on its nuclear program.

Middle East
5:30 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Iran Nuclear Talks Bring Top Diplomats, But Still No Deal

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, this week at NPR West in California.

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Middle East
4:48 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Suspicions Bog Down Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:54 am

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers resume talks Thursday in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's Supreme Leader says he's not optimistic, and U.S. officials say "no deal is better than a bad deal." Still, Iran's desire to get out from under crippling economic sanctions may drive progress forward despite the long odds.

Middle East
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

In Iran, Hard-Liners Mark Embassy Anniversary With Anti-U.S. Rally

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:14 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Thirty-four years ago today, Iranian followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. They took 52 Americans hostage, and held them captive for more than a year. And today, as has happened on this day ever since, thousands of Iranian hard-liners again took to the streets for what they call Death to America Day.

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Europe
6:46 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Turkey's 'Rockin' Imam' Inspires Youth, Tests Boundaries

Tuzer says there's nothing in his lyrics that could offend, but religious conservatives have opened an investigation into his musical activities.
Courtesy Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 3:10 pm

At 42, Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer has a modest post as imam in a small mosque in the village of Pinarbasi, near Turkey's Mediterranean coast, where he serves about 15 Sunni Muslim families. It's not the kind of place where you'd expect to find an imam attracting attention across Turkey and beyond.

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Parallels
4:14 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ottoman Dream Come True: Train Links East And West In Istanbul

A Marmaray Project train awaits its inauguration ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:04 pm

The Marmaray Project, Turkey's new underwater rail link between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, is open for business. It's the first of its kind, a modern feat of engineering that realizes the 150-year-old dream of an Ottoman sultan.

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NPR Story
5:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Will Hard-Line Critics Scuttle Iranian Talks?

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The diplomatic push to answer questions about Iran's nuclear program has generated some hope for a peaceful solution. It has also inspired a backlash and negative response in both Iran and the West. On both sides, conservatives who would not normally agree about much seem to agree that nuclear negotiations are a dangerous idea that could produce what they would see as a bad deal.

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Middle East
6:13 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Turkish Cease-Fire With Kurish Militants Hangs By A Thread

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To Turkey now and the fragile, seven-month cease-fire between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government. The long-running conflict has claimed some 35,000 lives, and the peace deal that stopped the bloodshed is now in jeopardy. The problem, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, is that both sides want the peace process to speed up.

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NPR Story
6:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

In Turkey, Religious Differences Battled Out In Building Project

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 8:58 am

In an Ankara suburb, a new religious complex is going up, promoted as a bridge of understanding between the Sunni majority and Turkey's largest religious minority, the Alevis. But the combination mosque and cemevi, or assembly house, has provoked protests and anger in the poor neighborhood. Alevis are up in arms about what they call an effort by the Sunnis to assimilate them into Turkey's dominant mainstream religious culture.

Middle East
4:27 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

No Deal, But Progress, As Iran Nuclear Talks Wrap Up

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Talks on Iran's nuclear program ended today in Geneva. The outcome? Inconclusive but hopeful. Negotiators agreed that Iran has put forward an important proposal that needs to be fleshed out.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, all eyes turn now to another round of talks early next month.

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Can Iran, The West Overcome Distrust To Make A Nuclear Deal?

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow, nuclear negotiators for Iran and six world powers will meet in Geneva. It's a chance to see whether positive signals from Iran's new president can be translated into real progress at the table. Iran wants punitive sanctions lifted, but it's insisting on its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that with hardliners waiting in the wings, momentum toward an agreement needs to be generated quickly.

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Parallels
3:21 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Iran's Leaders Send Sobering Message: No Quick Economic Fix

Two Iranian textile merchants wait for customers in Tehran's main bazaar. President Hassan Rouhani has raised hopes by reaching out to the West and promising to work for an end to sanctions. But his team has cautioned that the country's economic problems have deep roots.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:21 am

The U.S. and its Western allies have not been able to win the nuclear concessions they have sought from Iran. But they have been able to inflict considerable economic pain through sanctions.

But now, Iran's call for a nuclear agreement and an end to sanctions has raised hopes among Iranians that better economic times may be ahead. The Iranian currency has stabilized somewhat since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, although inflation and unemployment remain high.

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Turkish PM Pushes Reforms For Religious Minorities, Kurds

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 10:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today in Turkey, the government announced a new package of democratic reforms. The package includes granting some rights long sought by the Kurdish minority. A tenuous peace process between the military and Kurdish militants is hanging in the balance.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that the proposed reforms would also lift a ban on women wearing headscarves in some state institutions.

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World
4:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Optimism Surrounds Iranian President's Visit To New York

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Iran's new president addresses the United Nations in New York tomorrow. The speech comes amid near daily signals that Tehran is eager to engage with the West and resolve some long-standing issues. Under moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, Iran has released political prisoners, launched a new push to resolve questions about its nuclear program and offered to help mediate the conflict in Syria.

NPR's Peter Kenyon has more on this new Iranian image and the hope and skepticism it's stirring.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Turkey's Lira Falls To Its Lowest Value In Years

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Potential changes in economic policy from Washington have sent tremors throughout emerging economies. In Turkey, where growth in recent years has put Eurozone economies to shame, the signs are troubling: The Turkish lira has fallen to its lowest value in years and private sector debt is soaring. Economists say continued liquidity and foreign investment remains crucial if Turkey is to avoid a hard landing.

Middle East
5:08 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Turkey's Detente With Kurdish Militants On Verge Of Collapse

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The conflict in Syria is causing problems for its neighbors beyond the violence that's spilling over their borders. In Turkey, which has strongly backed Syrian rebels, one of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's most important political efforts is in danger of collapsing.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on dimming hopes for a peace process between Turkey and its Kurdish minority.

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Middle East
4:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Syrian Refugees In Turkey Want U.S. Strikes, Turks Are Wary

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Americans have choices about how involved they want to be in Syria's civil war. Syrians have no choice, and the same is true of Syria's neighbors.

People along Turkey's border with Syria deal with errant mortar fire, refugees and lost trade. And we're going next to a Turkish village along that dividing line.

Here's NPR's Peter Kenyon.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Ceylanpinar is one of those small Turkish villages smack on the border, and it has the scars to show for it.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN)

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Sports
4:05 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Olympic Committee To Announce 2020 Summer Games Host

Tokyo's 2020 candidate city logo.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 2:22 pm

Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Olympic Committee will announce the host of the 2020 Summer Games. The committee is choosing from among Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. The contenders all have strong selling points, but each also has serious issues clouding its bid.

Violent Crackdown Hangs Over Turkey's Bid

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Middle East
4:45 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Regional Leaders Confused By U.S. Delay On Syria Strike

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi (L) and Egypt Foreign Affairs minister Nabil Fahmi (C) head a meeting of the Arab League at the body's Cairo headquarters on Sunday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 7:43 am

Syria's state-run media depict President Obama as weak and indecisive after his decision to wait for a congressional vote on the use of force. Officials in Damascus remain defiant, even as the Arab League blamed the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons.

Syria's pro-government Al-Thawra newspaper called it a "historic American retreat," and supporters of President Bashar Assad said they were teaching the world a lesson in strong leadership.

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