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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Iraq
9:50 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 10:53 am

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.

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Parallels
4:34 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 8:55 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.

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Iraq
4:49 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Kurdish Forces Claim To Have Driven Militants From Dam

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:11 am

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

Iraq
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Islamic Militants Kill Dozens Of Yazidis In Northern Iraq

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 9:39 am

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

Iraq
3:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Iraq Has New Leadership, Al-Malaki Will Step Aside

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 5:36 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Iraq
2:09 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Obama Says Siege Of Mount Sinjar Is Broken, But Crisis Persists

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:35 pm

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

Parallels
6:02 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Turkey's Erdogan Seeks An Expanded Role As President

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes to become the nation's first strong president since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded Turkey in 1923.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 10:18 am

The news from Turkey lately has been mostly bad: A mine disaster this spring killed more than 300 workers; a corruption probe in December raised allegations of high-level graft in the Cabinet; and resentment continues to smolder against mega-projects that are threatening Istanbul's remaining green spaces.

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Middle East
4:48 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program Likely To Be Extended

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Let's read between the lines of a statement on nuclear talks with Iran. President Obama says, talks have shown, quote, "real progress." That's a diplomatic way of saying there's no deal yet. But the president also says, there's a credible way forward - and indication diplomats will keep talking past a Sunday deadline. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on the possibilities and the risks.

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Middle East
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

With A Deadline Days Away, Iran Nuclear Deal Might Get An Extension

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After two days of nuclear talks with his Iranian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to Washington. Sunday is the deadline for a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Vienna that the talks could be extended.

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Iran Nuclear Negotiations Try To Hurdle Impasse As Deadline Nears

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:26 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. Iranian and American diplomats are facing a July 20th deadline to come up with a nuclear agreement. A deal could prevent any Iranian attempt to build a bomb. Failure could bring back the mutual hostility of the past. As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Vienna, nuclear fuel, uranium, is the crucial issue.

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Middle East
3:10 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Deadline Looms In Nuclear Talks With Iran

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 12:15 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. It's being billed as the final push. After a decade of on-again, off-again talks with Iran over its nuclear program, a last round of talks begins today in Vienna. Negotiators from Iran, the U.S. and five major powers have set July 20 - just weeks from now - as the deadline to reach an agreement. NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Vienna. Good morning.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Iraq
2:17 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Beside A Crumbling Iraq, Iran Looks On With Alarm Bells Ringing

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 5:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Alarm bells are ringing in Iran now that Sunni militants are making such a huge claim in neighboring Iraq. Iran is the center of Shiite power in the region. It supports Iraq's Shiite-led government and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that Tehran is pursuing even more military support for its allies. But it also might be looking for a viable political solution in Iraq.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Crowded By Two Shaky States, Turkey Shifts Its Weight In Policy

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The fighting is so bad in Iraq that yesterday NATO promised to defend member country Turkey from any spillover violence. Turkey borders two countries that some analysts now call failed states, Iraq and Syria. That's forcing Turkey to consider policies that could change the map of the region, even the possibility of more independence for Iraqi Kurds. That's something Turkey has vehemently opposed for decades. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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Middle East
9:22 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Talks Yield Possible Framework For Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Negotiators trying to ensure that Iran has only a peaceful nuclear program have less than a month to reach an agreement. A week of talks in Vienna yielded the potential beginnings of a deal. But thorny problems remain unresolved.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, U.S. and Iranian negotiators also spent time fending off questions about the crisis in Iraq.

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Parallels
9:44 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Key Sticking Points In The Iranian Nuclear Talks

Iranian employees pose for a picture at the newly opened heavy water plant in Arak, in 2006. Iran is negotiating with six world powers on the fate of the plant and other issues concerning its nuclear program.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:13 am

Iran and six world powers are meeting in Vienna this week in their latest attempt to hammer out a comprehensive nuclear agreement by July 20.

That's when a six-month interim agreement expires. It can be extended for up to another six months, though all sides say they're aiming for an agreement this summer.

Iran is negotiating with the so-called P5 plus one, which consists of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany.

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Europe
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Former Boxer Steps Up As Kiev Mayor, Spars With Remaining Activists

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

Former world heavyweight boxing champ Vitaly Klitchko is now set to become mayor of Kiev. In his first major move, Klitchko is asking activists in Independence Square to pack up their tents and allow the square to return to normal. Some activists are resisting, warning that one presidential election doesn't guarantee the success of their revolution — or do justice to the martyrs who were killed there.

Europe
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Ukraine's Weakened Military Could Hinder Poroshenko's Objectives

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The new president of Ukraine also faces the problem keeping order. Petro Poroshenko has won praise for his tough stance on the pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country. But it can take force to back up words. And the Ukrainian military is considered relatively weak. NPR's Peter Kenyon just returned from Ukraine and has this report.

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Europe
5:21 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Rare Right-Wing Party Favors EU Integration, Joining Nato

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe's far-right parties did well, really well in last week's elections to the European Parliament. But their embrace of Russia and its annexation of Crimea is not exactly what the far-right counterparts in Ukraine were expecting. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on a rare right-wing party that favors EU integration and joining NATO.

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World
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Insurgents In Ukraine Shoot Down Helicopter, Killing General

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The battle for control of eastern Ukraine heated up again today. Pro-Russian insurgents shot down a military helicopter - killing at least a dozen soldiers, including an Army general. The deaths came days after the Ukrainian military inflicted heavy losses on rebels, who had seized the Donetsk airport.

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Europe
4:11 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Battle For Donetsk's Airport Claims Many Lives

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Europe
2:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

From Kiev, An Olive Branch For Russia — And A Saber For Separatists

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:53 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Europe
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Violence Returns To Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour with the latest from Ukraine, where votes from yesterday's presidential election continue to be tallied. Billionaire candy-maker Petro Poroshenko maintains his commanding lead. International observers praised the election as genuine, despite the millions who couldn't vote due to violence in eastern providences.

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Europe
4:11 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Extremists Vow To Disrupt Ukraine's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

The elections could be a major step in bringing legitimacy to the Kiev government if it can navigate the pitfalls of pro-Russian extremists in the East and hardline Ukrainian nationalists in the West.

Middle East
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Iran Reluctant To Disclose Secret Nuclear Activities

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Another round of nuclear talks between world powers in Iran ended yesterday and negotiations are expected to run through July. The U.S. wants to limit Iran's nuclear program. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions, but there are some mysteries, including rumors and reports about old weapons programs Iran allegedly hid.

And that poses a dilemma. How does it admit to past concealment? Well, it asked the world to trust it under a new deal. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from the talks in Vienna.

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Parallels
2:31 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Iran's President Gets Tepid Reception In First Year On The Job

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks to a group of medical and nuclear experts in Tehran on Sunday.
Mohammad Berno AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:17 am

Almost a year into Hassan Rouhani's presidency, the wave of high expectations that marked his rise to power in Iran has given way to impatience from his supporters and increasing attacks from his critics.

As Iranian negotiators headed to New York last week for expert-level nuclear talks, conservatives spoke out in parliament and gathered at the old U.S. Embassy in Tehran for some of the boldest attacks yet on Rouhani's leadership. Until now, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has kept hardliners relatively quiet about the nuclear negotiations, which resume Tuesday in Vienna.

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The Salt
2:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In This Turkish Town, Liver (And Olive Oil Wrestling) Are King

Fried liver, an Edirne specialty.
Farzana Quaraishi Benabdeljalil Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:55 am

If we mention the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne, tucked up near the borders with Greece and Bulgaria, you may think, "Oh brother, not another story about olive oil wrestling."

Yes, it's true that each summer for the last 650 or so years Edirne has hosted the Kirkpinar Olive Oil Wrestling Festival, in which half-naked men slathered in fragrant oil grapple in the grass. It's activity that's even recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Event.

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Parallels
1:16 am
Tue April 29, 2014

With Dogs And Batons, Bulgaria Tells Syrian Refugees To Turn Back

At Harmanli Camp in Bulgaria, hundred of asylum seekers — mostly from Syria and Afghanistan — live in reconfigured shipping containers and decommissioned military schools. The poor country is ill-equipped to deal with the influx of refugees from Syria.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:05 am

Some countries in Syria's neighborhood are feeling inundated with refugees, and countries like Greece are making it harder for them to enter the country. Now Bulgaria has followed suit, with growing reports of Syrian refugees facing violent beatings, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

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Asia
2:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Internet Freedom Debate Stokes Rivalry Between Turkey's Top Two

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turkey has seen its share of political controversies lately, including large protests and a government ban of Twitter. Despite that, the ruling party appears to be maintaining its popularity. But now it may face a split in its highest ranks. There's competition brewing between its two main figures: President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that many are wary of Erdogan's growing power.

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Europe
4:11 am
Fri April 11, 2014

A Trip Into Odessa's Rich, Dark History

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

As Ukraine seeks international help to bring Crimea back from Russian control, residents of Odessa watching warily. The historic Black Sea port has been conquered repeatedly throughout history.

Middle East
3:03 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Divisive Issues For Now Don't Derail Iran Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:02 am

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have left Moscow on the outs with Germany, France, Britain and the U.S. Those countries are partnered with Russia in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

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