Where to Visit in Batman
Batman is a city and capital of Batman District in the city Province, Turkey. It lies on a plateau, 540 meters (1,772 feet) above sea level, near the confluence of the Batman River and the Tigris and had a population of 452,157 in 2021. It is populated by Kurds.
The Batı Raman oil field, which is the largest oil field in Turkey, is located just outside the city. The city has a local airport and a military airbase, which was used for transit of aircraft and helicopters in some search and rescue operations during the Gulf War.
Until the 1950s, the city was a village, 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 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, the city 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.
According to the national census data collected between 1990 and 2000, the population of the city is growing at a rate of 5% per year. By 2008, it reached a population of 298,342, with a male to female ratio of 1.015. According to the 2000 census, about 50% of population is married and has about 5 children per family. About 5 people are living together in one house as family. The unemployment rate is about 20% for males and 10% for females. Kurdish is the main first-language in the city.
Batman is built on a flat plateau elevated at 540 m (1,772 ft) above the sea level, though there is a declining slope of up to 0.6° in the northeastern and southern areas. There are almost no forests in and around the city. The Iluh River, a tributary of the Batman River, flows through the city. The soil mostly consists of soft and porous clay; it is unstable and is easily eroded with rain and floods of the the city and Iluh rivers. The floods usually occur between March and May, although they sometimes occur between October and November. Major floods occurred in 1969 (April, 60 buildings damaged), 1972 (April and May, 210 buildings damaged), 1991 (November, 500 buildings flooded), 1995 (March, nearly 1000 buildings submerged and 450 damaged) and 2006 (October, 11 people died and 20 injured).
Batman is connected by highways and railway with the nearby cities of Diyarbakır and Kurtalan and with the capital Ankara. The distance (using highways) to Istanbul is 1,465 km (910 mi), to Ankara 1,012 km (629 mi), and to İzmir 1,520 km (944 mi). There is also a regional airport outside of Batman at 37.929481°N 41.118021°E, which provides direct flights to İzmir, Ankara and Istanbul. The airport is combined with the military Batman Air Base. The base was renovated after the US-Turkey agreement in 1982 to make the base available for US tactical aircraft acting within NATO forces. This allowed them to patrol the region of Caucasus, Turkey and Iran without refueling. The base was then used for aid delivery and rescue missions in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War.