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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Europe
4:33 am
Fri April 4, 2014

After Crimea Takeover, Ukraine Moves To Protect Odessa

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

With the Crimean peninsula effectively controlled by Russia, Ukrainian officials worry about another Black Sea port, Odessa. Ukraine fears this area with a Russian minority could be a tempting target.

Parallels
3:27 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Still Reeling From Crisis, Ukraine Prepares For Presidential Vote

Boxer-turned-opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, right, dropped out of Ukraine's presidential election set for May 25. He says he will help business tycoon and politician Petro Poroshenko, left, who made a fortune selling chocolates. He favors closer ties with the West.
Anatoliy Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:11 pm

After a winter of lightning-fast changes – a president ousted and a peninsula apparently lost to Russia — Ukrainians are beginning to look ahead to elections on May 25 to replace Viktor Yanukovych.

The opposition leader who seemed to have the inside track a few weeks ago, ex-world champion heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, has taken himself out of the running. Klitschko will stand for mayor of Kiev and throw his support behind billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy business.

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Europe
4:18 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Ukrainians Open Their Homes To Crimean Refugees

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:55 am

Transcript

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Europe
2:05 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

IMF Bailout Comes With A Hefty Side Of Pain For Ukrainians

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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News
2:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Even Turkey's President Evades Its New Twitter Ban

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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News
2:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

As Iran Talks Wrap Up, Diplomats Get Specific

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Dispute And Suspicion Swirl About Iranian Water Reactor

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Talks resume this week in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program. Western powers want to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons. Iran wants relief from economic sanctions. Well, today, we look at one of the issues: the construction of Iran's heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak. Critics doubt Iran's claims that the reactor is just for medical research, not weapons.

Here's NPR's Peter Kenyon.

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Europe
3:13 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Turkey Lacks Strong Position In Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And as Gregory said a few moments ago, the outcome of the referendum in Crimea is of particular interest to the Tatars, that minority community of Muslims that has a history of being oppressed by Russia. The Tatars have linguistic and religious ties to Turkey, just across the Black Sea. NPR's Peter Kenyon reported from Crimea last week, and has now returned to his base in Istanbul. He says that while Turkey might want to assert itself regionally and stand up for the Tatars, there's a limit to how much it can influence events.

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Europe
3:31 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Russia May Expedite Passports For Ukraine's Ethnic Russians

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

With no end in sight to the Ukraine crisis, Russian lawmakers say they're considering a bill to make it easier for ethnic Russians and other Ukrainians to obtain Russian passports.

Europe
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Kremlin Tells Reporters Not To Believe Their Eyes In Crimea

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has not sent troops to Crimea, despite being authorized to do so. Russia's defense minister says reports of Russian forces fanning out across Crimea are complete nonsense. And yet, Ukrainian and Western officials, as well as witnesses and journalists in Crimea tell a very different story. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from the Crimean capitol of Simferopol.

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Soldiers Trapped In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Ukrainian troops have been inside their bases in Crimea with sizable numbers of Russian troops and Crimean self-defense units blocking the entrances.

Europe
3:11 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Russian Troops Near Ukraine Ordered Back To Their Bases

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:04 am

Vladimir Putin orders tens of thousands of troops in military exercises near Ukraine to pull back. Thousands of Russian servicemen control border crossings and block military bases inside Crimea.

Europe
2:23 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

As Russians Return, Crimean Tatars Fear Repeat Of History

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 5:19 pm

Not everyone in Crimea is happy with recent events. Muslim Tatars, who'd lived there for centuries, were exiled by Stalin and could only return with the fall of Communism. Now, the Russians are back.

Europe
4:19 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Speculation Mounts Over Putin's Plan For Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 9:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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Europe
3:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

With Russian Military In Crimea, What's Next For Ukraine?

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 5:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Events in Ukraine have taken another dramatic turn. Russian forces now control Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The Ukrainian government in Kiev is calling up its military reserves. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia's military incursion is an incredible act of aggression. Kerry will meet with the new Ukrainian government in Kiev on Tuesday.

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World
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Crimean Peninsula Remains Tense But Largely Quiet

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

For many in Crimea's capital, Simferopol, it's reassuring to hear that Russian forces now control the region's most strategic assets.

Europe
3:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Upheaval In Ukraine Shifts To Crimea Peninsula

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:27 am

Armed men are patrolling two airports in the Ukrainian province of Crimea, and Ukraine's acting president is blaming Russia. Russia says its troops have nothing to do with it.

Europe
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Violence In Crimea Casts Shadow On New Ukrainian Cabinet

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Ukraine's new government was installed today, but it was completely overshadowed by events in the majority Russian Crimea. Armed men took over two government buildings in the Crimean capital and hoisted a Russian flag over the parliament. Meanwhile, the fugitive former president, Viktor Yanukovych, appeared to resurface in Russia, releasing a written statement declaring himself to be the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

A Day Away From New Government, Ukraine Seeks Stability

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with the latest developments from Ukraine and some of the responses from Western powers. Washington is offering financial advice and is now considering a $1 billion loan-guarantee package to help support the Ukrainian economy. In a moment, we'll hear how the British government views the crisis.

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Europe
2:35 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Restless In Ukraine: Interim Government Is Only First Step

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. It took nearly three months for Ukraine's people to overthrow their government and now the opposition is running into problems as it tries to build a replacement with infighting among the various parties. Meantime, the Ukrainian economy is in a shambles. The country is on the verge of default.

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Europe
3:11 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Ukraine Grapples With Vacant Presidential Post, Poor Economy

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:06 am

Ukraine faces bankruptcy if it cannot raise billions of dollars within the next few months. An offer of aid from Moscow, made before the revolution, now appears to be in doubt.

Europe
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

From President To Fugitive — In The Span Of A Week

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Last week, Viktor Yanukovych was Ukraine's head of state. Today, he's a wanted fugitive. The acting interior minister issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of mass murder. Yanukovych's main backer, meanwhile, is stepping up its criticism of the upheaval that has swept through Ukraine.

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Uncertainty Reigns At Start Of Iran Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Parallels
11:37 am
Fri February 14, 2014

At Iranian Colleges, Some See Brighter Future In Another Country

Iranian high school students sit for their university entrance examination in Tehran in 2009. Iran's economy has been struggling in recent years, and many graduates feel they have few career options.
Mona Hoobehfekr AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:59 pm

President Hassan Rouhani appeals to Iranian college students when he talks about creating more opportunities for the young. But the clock is ticking. Many of those born long after the 1979 Islamic Revolution see limited prospects at home and envision a better future abroad.

Outside Tehran University, Iran's largest, you can find earnest young students like Fazle Mahmoudian, 21, a math major who says he knows job prospects are grim, though he's not looking to leave.

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Parallels
1:44 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Iran's Hope Is Sanctions Relief, But Reality Is Struggling Economy

Low-income Iranians line up to receive food supplies in south Tehran. Iran remains an economy of subsidies, although some direct cash payments have been replaced by food baskets for the poor.
Davoud Ghahrdar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 9:07 am

Iran's economy may be struggling, but that doesn't mean everyone is suffering.

In a downtown Tehran restaurant, a well-dressed young man who asks to be identified only as Ahmad sits with a friend enjoying a water pipe of flavored tobacco.

Ahmad is a bit vague about what he does — first he says he's in the petrochemical business, then describes himself as an independent trader. He shares the general consensus that President Hassan Rouhani has brought a better atmosphere to the country but no real economic changes.

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Parallels
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Iran's President Marks Revolution With Call For Negotiations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at the Azadi Square in Tehran, on Tuesday. Rouhani called for "respectful, constructive" nuclear talks with world powers — a departure from the hard line of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:58 pm

Iran on Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of its Islamic revolution, a day when the country's religious conservatives and military hard-liners take center stage, and calls of "Death to America" echo across the country.

In Tehran's Azadi Square, one man waving an orange "Down with the USA" flag condemned the U.S. and Israel, and then, perhaps not sure of the nationality of the reporter standing nearby, threw in England and France for good measure.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Iranians Look Back On 35 Years Since The Revolution

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Iran is marking the anniversary of its Islamic revolution. It's the 35th anniversary of the protests that ended in 1979 with the overthrow of a U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran. The government that has ruled ever since uses Death to America as one of its basic slogans but the possibility of better relations emerged after the election of a new Iranian president last year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Iran. Hi, Peter.

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Middle East
3:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Iran's President Rouhani Gets The Benefit Of The Doubt, For Now

Female supporters of Hassan Rouhani, then an Iranian presidential candidate, chant slogans during a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on June 8, 2013. Rouhani has embarked on a diplomatic outreach program since taking office.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

As Iran prepares to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, it's not hard to find evidence of its much analyzed devotion to martyrdom, especially around this holiday.

It's also not hard to find chants of "Death to America." Just drop by the massive Mosalla Imam Khomeini mosque for Friday prayers.

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Parallels
1:03 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Istanbul's Mega-Projects: Bigger Is Better, Or A 'Crazy Canal'?

The pillars for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, commonly known as the "Third Bridge" rise from the Anatolian and European sides of the Bosphorus, above the fishing harbor of Poyrazkoy. When completed, the bridge will be over two kilometers in length, making it the longest combination railway/highway bridge in the world.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:12 am

Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.

Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.

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Middle East
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Syria Peace Talks Take A Break

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

No tangible results, that verdict today from Syria's foreign minister as peace talks wrapped up in Geneva. Despite the lack of progress, opposition delegates say they gained new support by standing face to face with representatives of Bashar al-Assad. The U.N. mediator is asking both sides to return to talks on February 10th. NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Geneva and begins our coverage.

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