Batman, Turkey

A view of city center in Batman.
A view of city center in Batman.
Batman is located in Turkey
Location of Batman, Turkey
Coordinates: 37°52′50″N 41°07′39″E / 37°52′50″N 41°07′39″E / 37.88056; 41.12750UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
72x xx
Area code(s)(+98) 488

Batman (IPA: /batˈman/; Kurdish: Êlih‎) is a city in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey and the capital of Batman Province. It lies on a plateau, 540 meters (1,772 feet) above sea level, near the confluence of the Batman River and the Tigris. The Batı Raman oil field, which is the largest oil field in Turkey, is located just outside the city. Batman has a local airport and a military airbase, which was used for transit of aircraft and helicopters in some search and rescue operations of the Gulf War.

Until the 1950s, Batman was a village, called Iluh, with a population of about 3,000. However, oil fields were discovered around it in the 1940s that resulted in a rapid development of the area and in the inflow of workforce from other parts of Turkey. In 1957, the village was renamed Batman, after the river namesake, received a city status, and became a district center. Over the next 50 years, a significant amount of Batman's one-story buildings were rebuilt as multi-story buildings. As a result, its population grew to many, many times its previous size. A 511 km (318 mi) km long oil pipeline was built in 1967 from Batman to the port city of Dörtyol near the easternmost point of the Mediterranean coast in order to transport the crude oil from the Batman refinery. In 1990, the city became the capital of Batman Province.

Apart from oil, which is by far the dominant commodity of the region, Batman produces beverages, processed food, chemicals, furniture, footwear, machinery and transport equipment. A university was established in 2007, Batman University, and is part of the Erasmus foreign student exchange program.


Early history

The Batman Province contains the strategic Tigris River with fertile lands by its sides, as well as rocky hills with numerous caves providing a natural shelter. As a result, it was inhabited from prehistoric times, likely from the Neolithic (Paleolithic) period, according to archeological evidence. First documented evidence of settlements in the province dates back to the 7th century BC. An artificial "island" was created in this marshy area, which was named elekhan and stood independent for 194 years from 546 BC until the invasion of Alexander the Great in 352 BC. The Batman Province was a religious center in the 4th–6th centuries AD and was part of the Byzantine Empire for seven centuries. In the 11th–12th centuries became under the control of the Great Seljuq Empire and Artuqids and became a prominent outpost of the Silk Road. This area was populated by Syriac Christians and had a significant presence of Pontic Greeks, Assyrians, Baghdadi Jews and Armenians; these peoples lived in the region from 500 BC to the late 19th century. Significant changes in its management and language were brought in 1515 by Mahmoud Pasha Elekhani. It is believed that a variant of his name, Elah, was transformed into Iluh and gave the old name to the Batman city.[3][4]

Modern history

The city was connected with Istanbul in 1944 by a railway line. This was the major transportation route until the 1950s when highways gradually became more important. Until the 1950s, Batman was a village of some 3,000 people;[5] it was called Iluh and belonged to the Siirt Province. It was first located in the Elmedin district of Siirt. The entire district disappeared in the early 1926 due to the flood of the Batman River. After that, Iluh became part of Beşiri sub-province.[6] On 2 September 1957, the village became a district center and renamed Batman after the river flowing nearby, which was known under its modern name since at least the 19th century.[7] On 16 May 1990 it was designated the capital of the Batman Province.[4]

This administrative evolution reflected the rapid growth of the city owing to its oil extraction and refinement industries. Oil was found in the region in the 1930s and the oldest in Turkey refinery was built in 1955 to process crude oil of the Raman and Garzan areas. The refinery is operated by Tüpraş, it has a processing capacity of 1.1 million tonnes per year and storage capacity of 253 billion m3.[3][8][9]

Development of the oil fields outside the city resulted in a rapid growth of Batman beginning in the 1950s. As a result, the city was declared a "Priority Region for Development". A high school was established in the city in 1975 and most one-story houses were rebuilt into multi-story buildings. However, the large inflow of labor for the oil industry resulted in construction of hundreds of unauthorized small buildings on the outskirts of the city. Because of the wind direction, most industrial complexes were located in the southern and south-eastern areas.[10] The oil-related development of Batman also resulted in relocation of Turkish people into a mostly Kurd-populated Batman Province. This has brought ethnic conflicts that escalated in the 1990s. More than 180 civilians were killed in the Batman city area by unidentified gunmen between 1992 and 1993.[11] In 2008 the mayor of the city, Hüseyin Kalkan, sued director Christopher Nolan for use of the town name in the film The Dark Knight, but however never sent to court. Kalkan was arrested the same year for promoting terrorism.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Аҧсшәа: Баҭман
العربية: بطمان
azərbaycanca: Batman
تۆرکجه: باتمان
Bân-lâm-gú: Batman (Türkiye)
беларуская: Батман
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Батман
български: Батман (град)
brezhoneg: Batman (kêr)
čeština: Batman (Turecko)
Cymraeg: Batman, Twrci
Ελληνικά: Μπατμάν
Esperanto: Batman (Turkio)
فارسی: باتمان
français: Batman (ville)
Gagauz: Batman
한국어: 바트만
հայերեն: Բաթման
hrvatski: Batman (grad)
Bahasa Indonesia: Batman (kota)
עברית: בטמן (עיר)
Kinyarwanda: Batman (umujyi)
Kiswahili: Batman
kurdî: Êlih
кырык мары: Батман (хала)
latviešu: Batmana
lietuvių: Batmanas
македонски: Батман (град)
Bahasa Melayu: Batman, Turki
Nederlands: Batman (stad)
日本語: バトマン
norsk nynorsk: Batman i Tyrkia
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Batman (shahar)
پنجابی: ضلع باتمان
português: Batman (cidade)
română: Batman, Turcia
Simple English: Batman (city)
کوردی: ئێلح
српски / srpski: Батман (град)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Batman (grad)
svenska: Batman (stad)
Türkçe: Batman
удмурт: Батман
українська: Батман (місто)
Tiếng Việt: Batman (thành phố)
粵語: 巴特曼
Zazaki: Batman
中文: 巴特曼