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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World
2:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Turkey's Armenian Artists Honor Their Community's Past

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 3:23 pm

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Parallels
2:20 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Invisible For Generations, 'Hidden Armenians' Emerge In Turkey

Armenian Christian women pray at St. Giragos Church in southeastern Turkey. The restored church, reopened in 2011, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East.
Sertac Kayar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:56 am

A century after Ottoman forces massacred an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenian Christians, some of the remaining Armenian Turks are taking tentative steps out into the open. They survived because their ancestors were taken in by Muslim families and raised as Muslims.

Now, thanks in part to a somewhat more tolerant climate in Turkey, their descendants, known as "hidden Armenians," are coming out of hiding.

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Parallels
11:20 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Remembering Gallipoli, A WWI Battle That Shaped Today's Middle East

Allied troops at the ANZAC Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula, during World War I. Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand fought for nine months but could not defeat the Ottomans. Overall, a half-million were killed or wounded.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 8:14 pm

Heads of state and thousands of guests traveled to the windswept shores of western Turkey on Friday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of World War I's most infamous battles. The Gallipoli campaign saw Ottoman forces, fighting under German command, repel an Allied attack led by Britain and France.

Nine months of fighting left a half-million dead and wounded on both sides. The Allies withdrew, setting in motion events that would leave the region forever changed.

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Parallels
12:30 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Turks And Armenians Prepare For Dueling Anniversaries On Friday

Armenians lay flowers Tuesday at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. Armenians on Friday will commemorate 100 years since 1.5 million of their kin were killed by Ottoman forces. Armenians and many historians call it the first genocide of the 20th century, but Turkey fiercely rejects that label.
Karen Minasyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:16 pm

Armenians are preparing to mark on Friday the 100th anniversary of the killing of as many as 1.5 million of their ancestors by the Ottoman Empire. And Turks are getting ready to celebrate the centennial of a major military victory by the Ottoman forces over the Allied powers at Gallipoli in World War I.

Turkey traditionally holds the Gallipoli ceremonies on April 25, which falls on Saturday this year. But it is moving up the events by one day to Friday in what critics call a clumsy attempt to overshadow Armenian Remembrance Day.

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Middle East
5:01 am
Sat April 4, 2015

U.S. And Iran Offer Different Narratives On The Same Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 7:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
1:37 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

U.S. Plays Delicate Dance As Deadline Nears In Iranian Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:07 pm

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Iran Nuclear Talks On Pause As Deadline Looms

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) at a meeting Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Brian Snyder AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:01 pm

Diplomats seeking the framework of a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief are taking leave of Switzerland — but only for a few days.

"Yes, we are all leaving," a smiling Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said as he walked past reporters at the luxury Beau Rivage Hotel in Lausanne, site of the 1920s treaty that finally dissolved the Ottoman Empire.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Iran Nuclear Talks Report Progress, While Critics Ratchet Up The Rhetoric

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry goes for a stroll along the shore of Lake Geneva on Sunday prior to renewed nuclear negotiations in Geneva with his Iranian counterpart.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:23 am

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

U.S. and Iranian negotiators wrapped up nuclear talks in a venerable lakefront luxury hotel in Geneva on Monday, with an American official saying, "We made some progress," but adding, "there's still a long way to go."

The sides are trying to close the gaps in their positions on what the future of Iran's nuclear program should be and when sanctions against Iran might be lifted. The U.S. official says they'll be back at the table next Monday.

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Middle East
5:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Turkey Launches Operation Across Syria's Border

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 9:36 am

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Middle East
4:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Jordan Rejects ISIS Claim That Strike Killed American Hostage

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 8:19 am

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Middle East
1:35 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Jordan's Military Claims New Air Strikes Against ISIS

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:23 pm

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Parallels
1:32 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

As Jets Roar Overhead, Jordan Remembers Its Fallen Pilot

Mourners pray during a ceremony for Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was killed by the Islamic State after he was captured in December. At Wednesday's service, which took place in the city of Karak, mourners called for the destruction of ISIS.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 5:16 am

Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh's village curves around mountainous slopes not far from the ancient city of Karak, where the walls of a sprawling castle were once washed in blood as the Crusaders lost out to the forces of the mighty Muslim warrior Saladin in the 12th century.

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World
1:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

ISIS Demands $200 Million Ransom For Japanese Hostages

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

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Middle East
2:16 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Nuclear Talks With Iran Recess After 'Limited' Progress

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:38 am

As diplomats trickled out into a frigid Geneva Sunday evening, descriptions of the talks trickled out with them. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi refused to characterize the progress made so far.

"It's too soon to say if we are able to make any progress or not," Aragchi said. "We are still trying to bridge the gaps between the two sides. We try our best, and as I have always said, as diplomats we are always hopeful."

China's delegation had a one-on-one with the Iranians and negotiator Wang Qun was more positive about the talks.

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World
1:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

For Iran And The West, A Rocky Year For Nuclear Diplomacy

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

Parallels
6:23 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Turkey's President And His 1,100-Room 'White Palace'

Turkey's new presidential palace in the capital, Ankara, has an official price tag of $615 million and more than 1,000 rooms. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ak Saray, or the White Palace, is not his palace, but that of Turkey. But not everyone is so sure.
Aykut Unlupinar Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:06 pm

On the outskirts of the Turkish capital, a new landmark looms over what was once Ankara forestland. It's a new presidential palace complex, with at least 1,100 rooms and an official price tag of $615 million — although critics suggest both figures are probably higher.

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Parallels
4:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

For Iran, The Trend Lines All Seem To Point In The Wrong Direction

President Hassan Rouhani's election last year gave many Iranians hope, but he has not offered a clear path out of the country's current problems, which include a weakening economy, tough sanctions and nuclear talks that are dragging on.
Mohammad Berno AP

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 9:25 am

Oil prices are at a five-year low, inflation is on the rise, the currency is sinking and nuclear talks are dragging on with no end to sanctions in sight. Those are the grim indicators confronting Iranians as winter approaches.

Iran's leaders are counseling resilience and patience, but Iranians aren't finding much to be hopeful about, although they're dealing with it in their own way.

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Middle East
4:21 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Iran Talks Intensify On Day Before Deadline

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 10:26 am

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

Parallels
11:37 am
Wed November 19, 2014

With Hand-Sewn Ships, Oman Revives A Glorious Maritime Past

The Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a ninth century Omani trading ship, sails into the harbor of Galle, Sri Lanka, in 2010. The ship was built in a traditional manner that uses coconut fibers (but no nails) to hold the ship together. The ship followed old routes used by Arab traders.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 4:47 pm

These days, a visitor to the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman is likely to be a pale European seeking some winter sun, or perhaps a diplomat seeking to broker a deal between longtime rivals such as, say, the U.S. and Iran. But Oman's reputation as a go-between is well-earned and stretches back centuries.

Back when Northern Europe was overrun by Vikings, Oman had a vast maritime trading empire.
 Now the country is training a new generation of Omanis to care for that legacy, and along the way remind the world of its rich maritime history.

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Parallels
2:15 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

In Oman, The Man Who Has Defined The Country Is Now Rarely Seen

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, 73, salutes during a military parade in the capital Muscat on Oman's national day in November 2013. Qaboos, who has ruled for 44 years, has maintained friendly relations with everyone from the U.S. to Iran. However, he has been abroad for months receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Mohammed Mahjoub AFP/Getty

It's a festive time in Oman, the sleepy sultanate on the edge of the Persian Gulf. The national day is Nov. 18, marking Oman's liberation from Portugese colonization, and the capital Muscat is bedecked with banners, scarves and flags. The spicy-sweet smell of frankincense is everywhere, as are images of Oman's absolute monarch for the past 44 years, Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

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