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.

In the battle for Mosul, Islamic State fighters who aren't killed are usually taken away for questioning by Iraqi or Kurdish intelligence. But there are also local Iraqis accused of helping ISIS — and they're put through a judicial process of sorts. One such case was heard recently in a makeshift courthouse, where a displaced judge from Mosul presides. The Sheikhan criminal court occupies a municipal office building north of Mosul. The courtroom is a medium-sized office with light brown...

When I last visited Damascus in 2008, the historic Old City district was full of Western students learning Arabic. Before bloody conflicts engulfed them, both Damascus and the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, were favorites with foreigners seeking to learn Arabic. Eight years ago, U.S. student Kara Francis told me that while she did have to field some questions about then-President George W. Bush, she never felt looked down on for being American. "No, to the contrary, every time I tell a Syrian that I...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Let's get a look at the fight to retake the city of Mosul in Iraq from the Islamic State. Iraqi forces have been waging that fight for some weeks with U.S. help. And NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Erbil, a city in northern Iraq not far away. Hi, Peter. PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Hi, Steve. INSKEEP: How's the Iraqi offensive going? KENYON: Slowly but it's still an advance. There's a brigadier general from the Iraqi Army who...

Donald Trump's election win has focused attention on his business interests around the world and how they might affect his foreign policy. One such place is Turkey, an important NATO ally neighboring the hot spots of Syria, Iraq and Iran. By far the most prominent reminders of the U.S. president-elect in Turkey are Istanbul's own Trump Towers. They rise above the Bosporus Strait on the city's European side, twin glass and steel edifices bearing the familiar Trump brand. In this case, it's...

In the stone courtyard of a lovingly — if quirkily — restored 500-year-old house in the Old City of Damascus, a ginger-bearded man in a baseball cap opens his arms to another set of visitors. "Hi," says Syria's most successful sculptor, Mustafa Ali. "This is my place." Tourists may be avoiding Damascus, thanks to more than five years of war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more. But Ali's artists' retreat, a combination gallery, performance space and fun...

The European Union is desperate to keep Syrian refugees from bolting from Turkey for Europe. But the prospects for Syrians in Turkey have been slim. Now the EU is launching its biggest aid program yet — more than $375 million aimed at a million of the neediest Syrians in Turkey. And it's not bags of rice thrown from the back of a truck. It's a bit more modern: a debit card that can be used to buy whatever food, medicine or clothing a family needs, or to get cash. The Syrian refugees are...

Just up the hill from Istanbul's Old City, lines are forming outside the district governor's office. This is where Turks can find a new "crisis management center," where those caught up in the post-coup purge can finally be heard in their own defense – or in defense of a relative now behind bars. At a desk, people can submit their written defenses. Since a failed coup attempt on July 15, more than 80,000 Turks have been suspended, sacked or arrested, and even Turkey's leaders are wondering if...

Since Turkey's government survived a violent coup attempt on July 15, it has pointed the finger at followers of an elderly, U.S.-based cleric. His name is Fethullah Gulen, and he denies any involvement. Turkey is demanding his extradition from the U.S., where he's lived in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s. Gulen moved to America in 1999, amid worries that Turkey's secular and military elite was after him. Gulen became a close ally of Erdogan and his AKP party when the party came to power,...

For more than a decade, U.S. foreign policy has centered on military action in the Middle East. Often overlooked, but still critical, is U.S. diplomacy. It's a slow and often frustrating art. It can also involve unpopular compromises with allies and rivals. But there's no way around it. Consider Turkey, with a strategic location that makes it important in Syria, Iraq, and the migrant crisis. But the U.S. and Turkey have had a roller-coaster relationship that took a sharp downward turn after...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Turkey today on what's being seen as a fence-mending mission. Ties have been strained between the two countries since an attempted coup last month. Some Turks believe the United States knew about the plot in advance or even supported it. After meeting Turkey's prime minister, Vice President Biden was emphatic in his denial. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) VICE PRES JOE BIDEN:...

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