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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12:01am

Mon November 14, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libya's Economy Faces New Tests After Gadhafi Era

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 8:27 am

A worker walks in front of a refinery inside the Brega oil complex in Libya.
Hussein Malla AP

Some Americans are old enough to remember pulling up to the pump at gas stations advertising fuel in cents per gallon, not dollars. For many Libyans, that's the way it has always been and should continue to be in this sparsely populated oil-producing country.

At a Tripoli gas station on a recent afternoon, popular opinion among local Libyans appears to be that the government would keep the prices low, around 60 cents a gallon, or bring them down even further.

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12:51am

Sat November 12, 2011
Africa

Families Of Prisoners Pressure Libya's New Leaders

A woman outside the Hudba el-Gassi compound in Tripoli, Libya, holds up a sign asking, "Where's my father?" Once a military police base, Hudba el-Gassi is now a makeshift prison for regime loyalists and others rounded up by armed militiamen.
Sean Carberry NPR

In the new Libya, uncertainty is the one certainty.

Contradictions and conspiracies proliferate faster than street demonstrations now that the iron fist of dictator Moammar Gadhafi's regime has been lifted.

Among those searching for answers are relatives of prisoners locked away by various revolutionary military councils. Some of the prisoners are former Gadhafi loyalists with blood on their hands. But family members say others were seized for motives of revenge.

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5:00pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Africa

Turks, Europeans Lead Charge On Libyan Investment

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:53 pm

Libya may be months from a new government, but the still-infrequent international flights to Tripoli are packed with businesspeople looking to land contracts with this oil-rich North African state. The Turks and Europeans appear to be moving quickly, while the Americans seem to be several steps behind.

On one recent afternoon, the plush Rixos hotel in Tripoli hosted hastily organized meetings between Libyans and a swarm of Turks representing 150 different companies.

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12:01am

Wed November 9, 2011
Conflict In Libya

In Post-Gadhafi Libya, Enmities Continue To Smolder

This abandoned village outside the city of Zintan was populated by pro-Gadhafi families from the Mushashya, a nomadic tribe from southern Libya. Fighters from Zintan, which rebelled against Gadhafi forces, are hoping they won't come back.
Sean Carberry NPR

In Libya's Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli, the sight of abandoned villages and idle fighters hanging onto their weapons gives bleak testament to the fact that not everyone in the country is ready for the violence that overthrew former dictator Moammar Gadhafi to end.

In one windswept mountain village outside the city of Zintan, the only sound is the lonely clatter of a door against the gate of an abandoned house. Burned-out cars and a foam mattress soaked from the rain litter the street; most of the houses look as if they've been looted.

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4:08am

Wed October 26, 2011
World

Fresh Violence Strains Reforms For Turkish Kurds

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:49 am

Thousands of Turks march Sunday in the streets of the capital, Ankara, to denounce the killing of 25 soldiers by the PKK.

Burhan Ozbilici AP

Turkish soldiers, artillery and military aircraft are engaged in their biggest military operation in a decade after a raid last week by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, killed 24 soldiers and wounded more than 100. The operation comes as Turkish politicians begin to debate a new constitution that many hope will grant Turkey's Kurdish population long-sought civil rights.

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1:46pm

Sun October 23, 2011
World

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Eastern Turkey

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Sunday, collapsing dozens of buildings into piles of twisted steel and chunks of concrete. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

1:48pm

Mon October 17, 2011
Middle East

Israel-Palestinian Prisoner Swap Stirs Strong Debate

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 12:05 pm

Faizeh al-Maslamani (left) with her sister and a portrait of her husband, Ali, due to be released with more than 470 Palestinian prisoners Tuesday. Ali spent most of the past three decades in an Israeli jail. Faizeh says he has 10 grandchildren he's never seen. She hopes he'll accept "a life sentence in the house."

Peter Kenyon NPR

By a strong majority, Israelis support the decision to swap more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli soldier. Still, it has provoked a painful debate, one that played out Monday, as it has several times before when Israel made similar lopsided trades in the past.

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8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Middle East

Prisoner Swap Undercuts Palestinian Authority

The release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is being trumpeted as a major victory by the Islamist Hamas faction that has held Shalit for five years. The boost for Hamas has sidelined the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas, who was just recently feted for his efforts to win Palestinian statehood recognition from the UN. The political shift leaves Palestinian supporters of a two-state solution feeling isolated. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

12:01am

Wed October 12, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Refugees In Turkey Call For International Help

Syrian refugees gather for a protest against Syrian President Bashar Assad at the Turkish Red Crescent camp in the Yayladagi district of the Turkish city of Hatay near the Syrian border, June 20, 2011. More than 7,000 Syrians are living in camps in Turkey.

Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

As political unrest and a government crackdown in Syria continue to simmer, more than 7,500 Syrian refugees have fled to camps in southeastern Turkey, and Syrians say many more would come if they could get past the Syrian army.

One of these camps, Altinozu, lies deep in the farm fields of Turkey's Hatay province. It appears to be well-planned and well-run, right down to the asphalt laid between the rows of white tents.

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4:00am

Mon October 10, 2011
Middle East

Assassination Galvanizes Syria's Kurdish Minority

Originally published on Mon October 10, 2011 12:22 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

An eruption of anger inside Syria at the assassination of a leading Kurdish politician is reverberating along the Turkish-Syria border. More than 7,500 Syrians are already sheltering in camps in Turkey. Now that Turkey is about to announce new sanctions against Syria, it's worried about a fresh wave of migration if violence continues to escalate.

NPR's Peter Kenyon has this report from Turkey's Hatay Province near the Syrian border.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHILDREN PLAYING)

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8:13am

Sat October 1, 2011
Middle East

Turkey's Quiet Deal Keeps U.S. Close, Israel Not Far

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

President Obama meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday in New York City. Turkey has agreed to a U.S. radar installation as part of a NATO missile defense system.
Pool Getty Images

Turkey's leaders have called Israel the "West's spoiled child," and the "bully" of the eastern Mediterranean. When a Tel Aviv soccer team showed up in Istanbul recently for a match, the welcome was less than warm.

In September, Turkey kicked out the Israeli ambassador, suspended military and trade deals and threatened legal and naval action to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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12:01am

Fri September 16, 2011
Middle East

Iran's Political Infighting Ensnares 2 U.S. Hikers

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 12:49 pm

A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows Khamenei listening to a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (back) during a ceremony with other Iranian top officials and foreign ambassadors to mark the Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast in Tehran on Aug. 31, 2011.
HO/AFP/Getty Images

The families of two American hikers imprisoned in Iran received hopeful, and then wrenching news this week. Iran's president announced the two would be released, only to have the judiciary deny it the next day.

As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares to visit New York for the United Nations General Assembly, the political infighting among Iranian conservatives seems to be intensifying.

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3:29pm

Mon September 12, 2011
Middle East

Turkish Leader Begins "Arab Spring" Tour

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan is visiting the three Arab countries that this year ousted long-time authoritarian leaders — Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Turkey is playing an increasingly prominent role in the region and is looking to start on good terms with the new leaders in these countries.

6:03pm

Tue August 9, 2011
Europe

In Turkey, Proposed Internet Filters Stir Protests

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers on CNN-Turk, July 16, 2011. Clinton said that the United States was "concerned" about media freedom and free speech in Turkey amid the arrest of dozens of journalists and restrictions on the Internet.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Faced with criticism at home and abroad, Turkey has decided to delay new Internet restrictions that were due to take effect this month. The government also has reduced the number of filters, which it says will target adult content.

Critics call the filters another blow to freedom of expression. Scores of Turkish journalists are already in jail, and thousands more are under investigation. The issue is clouding Turkey's reputation as a model for the region.

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4:00am

Fri August 5, 2011
Middle East

Anxiety Spreads In Hama Amid Violence, Isolation

Residents of the Syrian city of Hama are bracing for another day of shelling and shooting as the regime continues its military crackdown on the first Friday of Ramadan. Hama residents say they're trapped in their houses, often without electricity or water.

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