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
4:14 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Anti-Government Protests Persist In Turkey

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with the unrest in Turkey. There have been several days of intense anti-government protests in Istanbul and in the capital, Ankara. A doctor's union is now reporting the first death. A young activist was hit by a car under circumstances that remain unclear.

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Middle East
5:29 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Opposition In Syria Stalls Peace Talks Decision

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Parallels
4:02 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Iran's 'Zahra' Tells Alternate Tale Of Presidential Campaign

A panel from Amir Soltani's Zahra on the Campaign Trail. Drawing by Khalil.
Amir Soltani

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 1:17 am

Iranians choose a new president next month, and one thing Iran's leaders are intent on avoiding is a repeat of the massive street protests that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial re-election in 2009.

The sponsors of those protests, known as the Green Movement, have been effectively silenced inside Iran, but not online. The heroine of a graphic novel about the violent suppression of dissent in 2009 is now launching a virtual campaign of her own.

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Middle East
4:57 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

A Sign of Disunity? Iranian Candidates Jockey For Position

Etrat Kazemi (center) registers her candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in Tehran, Iran, last week. More than 700 people have registered to run in the June 14 election.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

Nearly 700 presidential hopefuls have thrown their names into the ring for Iran's June 14 presidential elections. But two last-minute entrants have altered the shape of the already-chaotic race: a former president once dismissed as a has-been and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Kurdish Militants Begin Historic Withdrawal From Turkey

Today marks the beginning of the pullback of thousands of militant PKK fighters from Turkey back to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. It's an important milestone in a delicate effort to end nearly three decades of bloodshed that have killed an estimated 35,000 people since 1984.

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World
6:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

PKK Fighters Begin To Withdraw From Northern Iraq

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn to a conflict now, that has been simmering for three decades. Turkish forces have spent years battling militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK as it's known. Today, thousands of PKK fighters begin a withdrawal to northern Iraq and this could lead to the group's eventual disarmament. Despite entrenched animosity, both Turks and Kurds seem, so far, to be pushing ahead with a peace process.

For Istanbul, here's NPR's Peter Kenyon.

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World
5:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Foreigners At Home: Turkey Beckons To Germany's Turks

The euro crisis and Islamophobia are making Turkey more appealing to the descendants of Turkish immigrants who have been living in Germany.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:39 pm

In 1961, desperate to increase its labor force, West Germany signed an employment agreement with Turkey and launched a wave of immigration that continues to have repercussions today.

Now, after years of being treated as second-class citizens in Europe's economic powerhouse, large numbers of Turks — descendants of the first wave of immigrants — are returning to Turkey.

In A Strange Land

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Middle East
7:38 am
Sun April 21, 2013

New Aid To Syria Comes With Fear Of Funding The Wrong Opposition

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens in during a "Friends of Syria" group meeting hosted on Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 9:09 pm

At an 11-nation meeting in Turkey this weekend, there was one thing the United States, European and Arab states could agree on: With more than 70,000 killed and millions of people displaced, the Syrian crisis, as Secretary of State John Kerry says, is "horrific."

In response, the Obama administration is doubling its non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition, Kerry announced at the meeting.

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Middle East
4:56 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Syrian Rebels Describe Fight As Revolution For Justice, Not A Civil War

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 7:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The world must acknowledge that Syria is going through a revolution for justice and freedom, not a fight between two teams. That message today from the new interim prime minister of the opposition Syrian National Coalition. 50-year-old Ghassan Hitto will now attempt to form an interim government as violence continues across the country. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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NPR Story
4:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Interim Prime Minister Elected By Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Syria's opposition coalition in exile has elected a prime minister who, until recently, hailed from Texas. The new leader is charged with putting together an interim government to oversee rebel-held areas of the country. After months of infighting, the coalition selected an information technology executive to do the job. NPR's Peter Kenyon has more from Istanbul on the challenges he'll face.

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Middle East
5:39 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Iran's Political Infighting Continues, Despite Calls To Maintain Calm

Iran's raucous political infighting shows no sign of calming down, despite the best efforts of the political leadership. With presidential elections slated for June, new competitors are applying to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while the president continues to lash out at the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps and, indirectly, at supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Meanwhile, a riot among farmers in Isfahan recently suggests that public unhappiness with the economy will be an important issue in the campaign.

The Salt
5:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

In Kazakhstan, No Horror At Horse Meat

Signs advertise the type of meat sold in each section of the Green Market in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Sly06/Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:24 pm

Though the thought of horse meat in British lasagna or Ikea meatballs may be stomach-churning to some people, in some cultures the practice of eating horse meat is not just acceptable, it's a treat. NPR's Peter Kenyon just returned from the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan and checked out the meat market at the Green Bazaar in Almaty.

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Middle East
5:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Iran Nuclear Talks Set Stage For Future Bargaining

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Iran and six world powers including the U.S. wrapped up two days of talks. No breakthroughs, but Iran is considering a proposal that would impose new restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of some economic sanctions. The two sides will return to Kazakhstan for another meeting in early April. NPR's Peter Kenyon has this report from the scene of the negotiations.

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Middle East
5:20 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

International Negotiations Continue Over Iran's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Another round of negotiations on Iran's suspect nuclear program got underway Tuesday in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty. Iran's envoys are pushing for relief from a vast array of economic sanctions while the U.S. and its partners in the so-called P-5 plus Germany are looking for signs that Tehran is prepared to roll back its nuclear program.

Sports
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Turks Desire 'Reversal' In Olympic Wrestling Move

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This week's news that the International Olympic Committee has decided to drop wrestling from the list of core Olympic sporting events has caused acute pain in Turkey. Wrestling is revered there as an ancestral sport.

In this letter from Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells us that Turks plan to take the IOC decision to the mat.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: The Turks don't claim either to have invented wrestling or to be the best in the world at it. They do love it though, and closely followed the matches at the London Games last year.

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Middle East
5:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Iran's President Draws Long-Simmering Feud Out Into The Open

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Iran's unpredictable president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is nearing the end of his final term in office and he has apparently decided to go out with a bang. The president has dragged a long-simmering feud with one of Iran's most powerful political families out into the open. It features hidden camera videos and allegations of corruption and it has prompted an urgent call for calm from the country's Supreme Leader. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul on what looks to be an unexpectedly lively campaign season in Iran.

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Middle East
3:25 am
Tue February 5, 2013

In Syrian Conflict, Real-Time Evidence Of Violations

Syrians look for survivors amid the rubble of a building targeted by a missile in the al-Mashhad neighborhood of Aleppo on Jan. 7.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

There are growing calls for Syria's leaders to face war crimes charges for the fierce assaults against rebel targets and civilian areas. If that happens, veterans of past war crimes prosecutions say, Syrians will have one big advantage: The widespread gathering of evidence across the country is happening often in real time.

After visiting a Syrian refugee camp in southeastern Turkey recently, Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, reacted sharply to a question that suggested Washington, D.C., has kept quiet about the Syrian regime's attacks.

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Middle East
3:03 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Iran's Leader Embraces Facebook; Fellow Iranians Are Blocked

Iranian authorities are using cyberpolice units to crack down on people who try to access banned websites, including social media sites such as Facebook. Here, Iranians use computers at an Internet cafe in Tehran in January.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 10:29 am

When Iran's supreme leader got a Facebook page in December, Iranians sat up and blinked.

Some thought it was a fake, finding it hard to believe that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be using a technology that his own government blocks. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman skeptically wondered how many "likes" it would attract.

But some of Khamenei's supporters quickly rallied behind the move, which first came to light in a reference on — you guessed it — the ayatollah's Twitter account.

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Middle East
6:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Suicide Bombing At U.S. Embassy In Turkey Kills Security Guard

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 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.

CORNISH: And we begin this hour with a report on today's suicide bombing in Turkey. The target, the U.S. embassy in Ankara. The attack killed two people, a guard and the bomber. The White House called it an act of terror but had no information on the motive behind the blast. Turkish authorities identified the bomber as a member of an outlawed left-wing group. NPR's Peter Kenyon has our story from Istanbul.

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Middle East
6:28 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Iran's 2009 Crackdown Resonates With Exiles In Turkey

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Iran is preparing for a presidential election set for June. The last election back in 2009 was followed by massive protests after hard line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner. Iran then brutally cracked down and thousands of Iranians fled into exile. NPR's Peter Kenyon met with many of them in neighboring Turkey. He found memories of the regime's crackdown still fresh and little hope things will improve with the next election.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC)

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