Batman (pronounced as baat-maan, not like the name of the superhero; Kurdish: Iluh) is a city in southeastern Anatolia. It is the capital of an important oil producing province.
A village of a couple of hundred people in 1950s when petroleum was discovered in the surrounding mountains, Batman has grown ever since, having a population of several hundred thousands today. Large numbers of immigrants from surrounding region also contributed to quick urbanization, usually with no respect to building codes. Therefore, most of the city is slums surrounding a plaza by the railway station in the downtown and an oil refinery south of the station.
The city's name is, unsurprisingly, entirely unrelated to that of the famed fictional superhero. Instead, it is theorized to be a shortened form of Batı Raman, i.e. "Western Raman (Mountains)" where petroleum was first found in the vicinity. In fact, the city's name actually postdates that of the comic book, as the character Batman first appeared in 1939, while the former village of Iluh was only renamed in the 1950s. This didn't stop the then mayor of Batman from threatening to sue Warner Bros. in 2009 (after the release of The Dark Knight), though no suit actually materialized.
Buses are available from various cities across Turkey, especially frequent are the services from surrounding cities such as Diyarbakir and Tatvan (at least one daily; it costs 15 TL pp from Tatvan). The bus station (otogar) of the city is located in the northern outskirts, about one to one and a half hour walk away from the city centre/train station.
The Guney Kurtalan Express operates three times per week between Ankara via Diyarbakır and Batman on to Kurtalan, about 40 km further east from Batman. Notice that this train do get overcrowded during early August because of huge numbers of seasonal workers taking the train to work in western Turkey during the harvest season. It might be almost impossible to find a ticket further than Diyarbakır during that season and the can be uncomfortable because of the huge numbers of passengers getting on and off the train.
- 1 Batman railway station (Batman Garı).
Batman har a small regional airports with daily domestic flights from major cities.
- 2 Batman Airport (Batman Havalimanı).
- 1 Batman Museum (Batman Müzesi). Archaeological museum, the collection of 450 items is organized into three exhibition halls, one covering the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, a second with items from the Ilısu Dam excavations and a third with items from the city of Hasankeyf.
- One of the most popular things for tourists to do is taking pictures of things with the word Batman on them, such as the highway sign at the entrance of the city.
There is an ATM (of Halkbank) located on the side of the small square near the train station.
- Hasankeyf on the banks of Tigris River to the south is, unlike Batman, a village full of historical sights and impressive views of nature. About 40 minutes away.
|Routes through Batman|
|END ← Diyarbakır ←||W E||→ Siirt → Ends at in Şırnak (W E)|
|END ←||N S||→ Hasankeyf → Mardin|