Things to do - general
Country Turkey
Region Southeast Anatolia
Subregion Mardin
Provincial seat Batman

 • Electoral district Batman

 • Total 4,649 km2 (1,795 sq mi)

 • Total 576,899
 • Density 120/km2 (320/sq mi)
 • Urban

Area code(s) 0488
Vehicle registration 72
Country Turkey
Visa requirements
  • By rail from Istanbul and Ankara via Diyarbakır by Güney Express, which has its last stop in Kurtalan, about 40 km further east from Batman. It departs three times a week. The same train departs from Batman on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays around 9-10AM in the morning on its way back to Istanbul, passing via Diyarbakır (about 2 hours from Batman). A bed in a sleeper car costs slightly more than 60 TL between Istanbul and Batman. Credit cards are accepted in Batman station. Trains to Istanbul get really overcrowded during early August because of huge numbers of seasonal workers taking the train to get to hazelnut orchards around Adapazarı and Eastern Marmara on the way (short of two hours from Istanbul—the last stop of the trains), and it is impossible to find a ticket further than Diyarbakır during that season without booking/buying the ticket in advance. Even if you can find a ticket, the ride is very uncomfortable, and because of the huge numbers of passengers getting off the train in almost each stop—even if it is in the middle of nowhere, where normally no one ever gets on or off—to replenish their water from station fountains, trains are extremely delayed, and it takes almost two full days to get to Istanbul. Avoid if you are not deadly on budget.
  • There is also a regional airport near Batman, which has scheduled services to Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara and Izmir.
  • 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.
Languages spokenTurkish, Arabic, English
Currency usedTL, € , $
Area (km2)4,649 km2 (1,795 sq mi)

Sports & nature

  • 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's old ruins at the outskirts but better ask around, and not sure it's comparable with more famous sites in East Anatolia.
  • 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.


Nightlife info

  • Alcohol is not common here (there should be one bar on a side street to Diyarbakir road, but tea houses are found everywhere. A nice one is in the actual Ögretmen evi park (where there's also several other more buzz ling cafes for Okey gaming) with couches in the shade.

Culture and history info

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. Therefore, 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 7th century BC. An artificial "island" was created in this marshy area. It was named Elekhan, and had an independent status for 194 years from 546 BC till the invasion of Alexander the Great in 352 BC. The Batman Province was a religious center in the 4th–6th centuries AD and a part of the Byzantine Empire. In the 11th–12th centuries it was ruled by the Great Seljuq Empire and Artuqids, a part of which was based in the province, in the city of Hasankeyf. The city is a cultural center of the Batman Province and as such was declared as a natural conservation area in 1981.

Around 4th–6th centuries AD the province became an outpost of the Silk Road. It was populated by Assyrian (Syriac) Christians and also had a significant presence of Pontic Greeks, Baghdadi Jews and Armenians, who lived in the region from the 3rd millennium BC to the late 19th century. Tigranakert, the ancient capital of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia founded in the 1st century BC, was possibly located at Silvan in the Batman Province. It was built by King Tigran the Great around 95–55 BC and named in his honor.

Significant changes in the language and management of the province 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 Batman city.

Development of oil fields resulted in relocation of Turkish people into a mostly Kurd-populated Batman Province. This brought ethnic conflicts which escalated in 1990s. More than 180 civilians were killed in the Batman city area by unidentified gunmen between 1992 and 1993.The province became a stronghold of Turkish Hezbollah and hosted its camp where the militants received political and military training.

Recent individual incidents include the following: 1 Turkish soldier was killed and 2 wounded during clashes in the province on 15 April 2010.In the Siirt Province 2 PKK militants were killed and 3 soldiers wounded. One Turkish soldier was killed and 2 injured after a PKK attack on a Turkish military outpost on 7 July 2010. Four Kurdish civilians were killed on 1 August 2010 after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Later on 9 August 2010 5 PKK militants were killed in clashes with the Turkish military.

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