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

Africa
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Checkpoints And Curfews Complicate Life For Egyptians

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:22 pm

During the 2011 uprising in Egypt, police disappeared from the streets and were replaced by neighborhood watch committees. The groups have re-emerged during the violent stand-off between Egypt's military rulers and Islamist supporters of deposed President Morsi and people are reporting incidents of theft and harassment at checkpoints.

Africa
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Egyptian Court Drops Corruption Charge Against Mubarak

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

As Egypt reels from the violent standoff between the country's military rulers and Islamist supporters of deposed President Morsi, a court dropped a corruption charge against former President Hosni Mubarak. His lawyer says this clears the way for his release from jail, but other reports suggested authorities would find a way to keep him detained.

Africa
3:03 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

In Egypt, Another Day Of Clashes And Violence

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For those seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Egypt, it's been a discouraging day. Protest led to at least dozens of deaths, according to state figures. Muslim Brotherhood officials put the toll higher. The Brotherhood has called for another week of demonstrations.

Read more
The Salt
2:05 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Catch Of The Day, Grilled The Turkish Way

Anglers fish off Galata Bridge in Istanbul in 2011. The bridge is within site of the modest waterside restaurant Akin Balik.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 8:17 pm

Each morning as dawn breaks over the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey, a small drama repeats itself: Massive oil tankers and cargo ships slide past tiny fishing boats bobbing on the surface like bathtub toys.

These intrepid fishermen are out in all weather, in all seasons. In the winter, they catch the rich, oily anchovies, bluefish and mackerel. With spring come the turbot and sea bream, and by summer, sea bass and red mullet are being hawked by the fishmongers.

Read more
Parallels
1:04 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Iran's New President Hints At Easing Internet Controls

Iranians surf the web at an Internet cafe in Tehran on April 28, 2013. The recently elected president, Hasan Rowhani, has suggested that he may loosen restrictions on the Internet.
Abedin Taherkenareh EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:10 am

Iran's President-elect Hasan Rowhani has already called for less filtering of the Internet, saying Iran must maintain its principles, but also needs to engage with the wider world.

"We should rectify our relations with the world," Rowhani said in remarks carried by Iran's Press TV. "Gone are the days when a wall could be built around the country.... Today there are no more walls."

Read more
NPR Story
4:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Syrian Opposition Elects New Leader

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 12:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to stay in the Middle East, turning out attention now to Syria, where the main opposition coalition has a new leader. During meetings in Istanbul, opposition leaders elected Ahmad al-Jarba, who has close ties to Saudi Arabia. The change comes as civilians in Syria's central city of Homs are facing a fierce government assault. NPR's Peter Kenyon has more.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: After another two-day Syrian Coalition meeting had spilled over into a third day with more to come, spokesman Khaled Saleh had some news.

Read more
Middle East
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Morsi's Ousting Prompts Strong Reactions Around Middle East

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:49 pm

The immediate reaction to the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi reveals how political and religious fault lines have shifted in the region. Saudi Arabia, an Islamist theocracy, quickly praised the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group Riyadh sees as a rival. Also cheering was Syria's Bashar al-Assad, whom the Saudis are trying to help force from power.

Read more
Parallels
1:08 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Thanks, But No: Social Media Refuses To Share With Turkey

An anti-government protester wearing a gas mask uses a cellphone to read the news on social media as demonstrators gather at midnight in Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park on June 13.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:37 pm

Turkey's battle with the Internet took a new twist on Wednesday.

A Turkish government minister said Twitter has refused to cooperate with the government, but that Facebook had responded "positively" and was "in cooperation with the state."

Read more
World
3:10 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Turkey's Protests Are An Impediment For Its Prime Minister

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Turkey over the weekend, police used water cannons against demonstrators in Taksim Square. The latest confrontation comes at a delicate time. Turkey is waiting a decision on whether it will host the 2020 Olympic Games.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that Turks are wondering if the government will react with even tighter restrictions on descent, or bend to demands for greater political openness.

Read more
Middle East
3:12 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Anti-Government Protests In Turkey Reach Syrian Border

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Turkey, anti-government protests are concentrated in Istanbul and Ankara, but they have spread to many cities around the country, reaching all the way to the Syrian border.

NPR's Peter Kenyon recently visited Hatay Province and found mounting discontent and growing fear of sectarian violence.

Read more
NPR Story
5:38 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Police Clear Protesters In Istanbul Park

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 8:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
World
3:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

In Istanbul's Taksim Square, Cue The Piano Man

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:14 pm

Amid the protests and clashes in Istanbul's Taksim Square, a pianist has been hauling in his instrument at night to entertain the crowds. Each time he does, the raucous crowd stills itself while he plays. In between tunes, chants rise up and he stands on his piano bench to conduct the crowd.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Turkish Protesters Refuse To Leave Gezi Park

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.

Read more
Middle East
3:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Some Turkish Protesters Optimistic After Meeting With Leaders

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Middle East
2:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Turkish Police Remain In Control Of Taksim Square

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

Read more
Middle East
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Police Fire Tear Gas On Protesters In Turkey

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Turkish riot police cracked down on ongoing anti-government protests in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square on Tuesday.

The Salt
1:26 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Not Everyone Cheers Turkey's Move To Tighten Alcohol Rules

Diners drinking raki, a traditional Turkish alcoholic drink flavored with anise, at a restaurant in Istanbul.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 2:46 am

The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population

Read more
Middle East
2:08 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Changing Face, Perception Of Turkey's Prime Minister

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Clashes continue today in Turkey. On one side, police. On the other, protestors angry with what they consider the heavy hand of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Even the Black Sea province of Rize, where Erdogan hails from, has seen fighting. Once considered a model politician in a complicated region, Erdogan now faces the strongest challenge of his decade in office.

Read more
Middle East
3:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Deep Difference Stall Talks Of Syrian Opposition Council

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:47 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government forces aren't the only concern for Syria's rebels. The opposition coalition is struggling with deep and perhaps irreconcilable differences within its own ranks. Diplomats from the U.S., Europe, and Arab states have converged on an opposition meeting in Istanbul in what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to resolve some of those differences. If the effort fails, observers fear it will mean an end to efforts to convene direct talks between the opposition and Assad's government.

Read more
Middle East
3:29 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Opposition In Syria Stalls Peace Talks Decision

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Middle East
3:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Iranian Council Declares Ex-President Rafsanjani Unfit To Run Again

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Iran's Guardian Council does not hesitate to use its power. That's the legislative body that vets political candidates for their commitment to the Islamic Revolution. Perhaps no surprise in the upcoming presidential election, voters are able to choose from a very narrow range of candidates - all of whom support the regime. All the high-profile or independent candidates have been eliminated by the Guardian Council. And this caused some shock - those include a man who has already held the post of president.

Read more
Parallels
2:02 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 Mon May 20, 2013 11:17 pm

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.

Read more
Middle East
2:57 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 5:15 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:12 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.

Read more
World
4:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

PKK Fighters Begin To Withdraw From Northern Iraq

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:43 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.

Read more
World
3:24 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 4:39 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

Read more
Middle East
5:38 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 7:09 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.

Read more
World
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Prisoner Release May Aid Ceasefire Between PPK, Turkish Government

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 7:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's go next to Turkey, where the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, has released several captives. That development has given new hope to efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey's nearly three-decade battle against the PKK.

Now attention turns to hopes for a ceasefire and a new push to recognize Kurdish rights in Turkey, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

Read more
Middle East
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

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

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 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.

Read more
Middle East
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Interim Prime Minister Elected By Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 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.

Read more

Pages