The City of Batman, on Batman River in Batman Province

Jul 6, 2015 2 comments

Unless you are Turkish, Batman can mean only one thing — the DC Comics superhero with a cool utility belt who lives in Gotham City. But if you are, Batman can mean one of several things: a river, a province, a city or a unit of measurement. And none of them are related to, or inspired by the comic book character.

The city of Batman is situated in, and is also the capital of, the province of Batman in the Anatolia region of southeastern Turkey. The city lies in a plateau near the confluence of the Batman River and the River Tigris. Batman was originally a small village called Iluh with a population of about 3,000. The discovery of oil around Iluh in the 1940s resulted in rapid development of the area and its population began to explode over the next several decades. In 1957, the village adopted the name Batman, after the river that flows near it.


Photo credit

The Batman River wasn’t always called Batman. In the old days, it was known as Kalat, which meant “bride” to the Syriac people who populated the area. This was translated into Greek as Nymphius, and the river came to be called as such until the 18th century. It is not clear who started calling Nymphius “Batman” but it happened sometime in the 19th century, possibly appearing first in international literature. The name appears to be a shortened form or corrupted version of “Bati Raman”, a nearby mountain, whose origins itself are obscure. Bati means “west” in Turkish, while Raman means joy in Kurdish. But Raman can also be a variant of Rahman which means god.

Batman is also an old unit of measurement used to measure mass, prevalent during the Ottomon Empire. The value of Batman varied considerably from region to region and at different times.

The city of Batman made news in 2008 after its mayor announced to the media that he was planning to sue Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan, director of the The Dark Knight movie trilogy for using the name in the film without consulting him first. "There is only one Batman in the world," he told reporters. "The American producers used the name of our city without informing us." The threat was, however, only a publicity stunt. Batman comics first appeared in 1939, more than two decades before the city began to use the name.



Batman City. Photo credit


Batman City. Photo credit

Sources: Wikipedia / CN Traveller / The Register / Batman River (Wikipedia)


  1. I don't suppose that the local mystical moochers would like the original TV series, the one made in the 1960s. There is little ar-Rahman in it, and much of the series reflects an ongoing preoccupation with sex.

    Speaking of "Rahman", the word is not at all properly translated as "god" but as "beneficent". So you should have written, "But Raman can also be a variant of Rahman, which means beneficient. In Koran 55 it refers to the Islamic god." The distinction, of course, is one of sense and reference, or of the definition of words and the referrents of words.

    As for the Batman, see

    Wikipedians are calling the river a "major tributary of the Tigris", and the approximate location is indicated on a map at




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