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.


Middle East
2:03 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 9:29 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
4:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

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

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 6:17 pm



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


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
6:10 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Iran's 2009 Crackdown Resonates With Exiles

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:09 pm



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.


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Middle East
4:40 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Turkey Promises Peace Talks With Kurdish Militants, Despite Paris Killings

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:54 pm



The government of Turkey is vowing to push ahead with efforts to end its long-running conflict with Kurdish militants. That's despite the killings last week of three female Kurdish activists that were shot in Paris. The murders are seen as an effort to derail the peace talks before they gain traction.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul, Turkey, Turkey has pushed for peace before. But many wonder if the lessons from past failures have been absorbed.

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Middle East
3:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Turkey's AK Party Still Defies Easy Categorization

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

It's been a decade since a coalition of Islamic and secular political parties formed the AKP, or Justice and Development Party, and swept to power in Turkey. Warnings from secular Turks about a secret agenda to impose Sharia law on the country proved groundless, and yet ten years into AKP rule, secular unease is on the rise again. European Union-style political and social reforms have ground to a halt in the past 18 months, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems bent on converting Turkey to a strong presidential system with himself at the helm, possibly for another decade.