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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The United States military and Kurdish militias were allies for five years fighting against ISIS. Now that has changed. President Trump unexpectedly pulled U.S. troops from near the Syria-Turkey border, and the Kurds were left to fend for themselves.

A special meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors wrapped up Wednesday with no formal action on Iran's two recent violations of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA. The meeting let both the U.S.

Updated Tuesday at 8:40 a.m. ET

Tensions continue to rise between the United States and Iran following last week's sharp escalation in which Tehran downed a U.S. drone and the U.S. conducted cyberattacks against an Iranian intelligence group.

On Monday, President Trump announced financial sanctions against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and several other top officials.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected the U.S. accusations, tweeting that the Trump administration "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran [without] a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence."

In an earlier tweet, Zarif hinted at a conspiracy, noting that the tankers, one owned by a Japanese firm, occurred as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. "Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired," he wrote.

Turkey has been governed for most of the past two decades by a party steeped in political Islam. So when a pollster recently surveyed personal beliefs, there was a finding that stood out: Levels of piety were flat, or even declining, compared with a decade ago.

The apparent shift is not seismic, but it has Turks talking about where their country is headed.

One of candidate Donald Trump's pledges during the 2016 election campaign was to get tougher on Iran. He slammed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as a lopsided giveaway to Tehran, and promised a return of American sanctions on Iran.

President Trump has been true to his word, making 2018 a difficult year for Iran.

Although other countries have stuck with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed with Iran, Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in May and announced that U.S. economic sanctions on Iran would return in two phases.

Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday afternoon that 21 Saudi suspects in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will have their visas revoked or be ineligible for a visa to enter the United States.

Tension is rising between Iran and the United States these days. But Iran's leaders are facing pressure from various sides at home, too.

Ordinary Iranians are mounting protests that refuse to go away, despite a sharp response from the authorities.

The demonstrations began to make news late last year, focusing largely on economic hardship. As those protests continued in cities around the country, another movement re-emerged: young women standing up against the enforcement of conservative Muslim strictures on their dress and behavior.

Two years after a military uprising failed to topple Turkey's leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a tighter grip on power than ever. A three-month state of emergency imposed after the military's July 2016, coup attempt was extended multiple times, but was allowed to expire last week.

On Sunday, voters in Turkey will go to the polls in snap elections called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. These elections weren't supposed to be held until 2019, but Erdogan moved them forward by more than a year in hopes of catching the opposition flat-footed.

Here's a look at what's at stake.

Who's running?

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When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they had dramatic impacts on parts of Northwestern United States. Decades later, a wealthy landowner wants to try a limited version of that experiment — in the Scottish Highlands.

It's no secret that Britain has an obesity problem. One official has described childhood obesity in the U.K. as a "national emergency." In an effort to combat the problem, the government has just slapped a new tax on sugar, directly aimed at lowering the consumption of sugary drinks.

In Scotland, that has already had an impact on the country's beloved sugar bomb of a soft drink, Irn Bru.

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When you think of big investors in Africa, the United States, China, Britain and France may come to mind. But over the past decade, Turkey has been steadily raising its profile in Africa, including in some of the most troubled countries on the continent.

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Turkey's military offensive in northwest Syria, dubbed "Operation Olive Branch," has alarmed several countries and led to an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council. It pits U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey against a Kurdish fighting force armed and trained by the United States as part of the fight to defeat ISIS in Syria.

The fighting has thrown a spotlight on the confusing and at times conflicting alliances and goals in the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

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Turkey was once considered by the West to be a model Muslim democracy. It's been a critical U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS. And yet in 2017, Turkey has continued to become more and more authoritarian.

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Two deadlines are approaching that may signal the fate of the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The agreement saw Iran sharply curtail its nuclear program and allow extensive inspections in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

It has been 18 years since a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit northwest Turkey, killing some 17,000 people and leaving half a million homeless. A series of government initiatives were designed to make the next big quake less deadly. But experts are warning that some of those protections have been lost in a rush to develop urban green spaces into lucrative apartment buildings and shopping malls.

The decision last week by Gulf Arab states to sever ties and halt trade with the tiny, hydrocarbon-rich country of Qatar has focused attention on what critics call Qatar's funding of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

U.S. investigators believe the crisis was sparked by hackers who transmitted fake, inflammatory messages appearing to come from Qatar's emir.

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Turkish voters will decide Sunday whether to replace the Turkish Republic's parliamentary form of government with a strong presidency. It's a vote that could alter — or, opponents say, endanger — the democratic traditions of this key U.S. ally. Turkey is a NATO member helping fight ISIS.

If the referendum passes, it will increase the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Polls released late in the campaign showed a narrow lead for "yes," with a large number still declaring themselves undecided. Erdogan is predicting at least a 55 percent margin for "yes."

A late March snow descends on a modest farmhouse in central Anatolia. An oil stove hisses away inside, as afternoon gives way to twilight.

A heavyset man with a thick black mustache adjusts his cap, takes a deep breath and fills the room with a piercing, impassioned cry. The small audience settles back for an evening of traditional dengbej singing.

For centuries, dengbej songs served as a combination news bulletin, history lesson and evening's entertainment. Master singers built up large repertoires of songs — and could recite the historical events they describe.

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