lawsuit; name; royalties; compensation; batman


Who Would Win? Batman or… Batman?

What do you know about Batman? You probably know that the Caped Crusader resides in Gotham, that he spends his evening hours cruising the streets, rooftops, and the skies of the city to find evildoers and deliver a heaping dose of bat justice onto them. He has everything he needs in this utility belt, and his biggest nemesis is the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman has been a staple of comic books in the DC Universe since being created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939, and has been in television shows, cartoons, and many movies since then. However, did you know that Batman also happens to be a town in Turkey?

When Batman Wants to Rumble With Batman

In 2008, the mayor of this town, Huseyin Kalkan, decided that he should sue Warner Brothers and Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight film because they used the name Batman without the permission of the city of the same name. He wanted to receive royalties from the movie, and he wanted compensation for the psychological damage that had caused the suicide rate of females in the town to be so high. He also claimed that the name of the town had predated that of the comic book character.

As ridiculous as the claims were, let’s look a bit deeper at the name and the history of this city. The town grew quickly in the 1940s when oil was discovered in the area. However, it was not called Batman at that point. Up until 1957, the name of the city was Iluh. It then took the name Batman. Keep in mind that the first appearance of Batman was in 1939, almost two decades before the name change.

However, it did not take the name from the Caped Crusader. Instead, it took the name from the Batman River that’s nearby, which happens to be a tributary of the Tigris River.

You might be wondering whether the people who named the river chose the name because of Gotham’s hero. That’s not the case either. Interestingly, in Turkish, the word batman is used as a unit of measurement for weight. This is one of the theories of why it was named the Batman River. Another theory is that the river may have been named after a nearby mountain with a similar name – Bati Raman – and that it was merely shortened to Batman. No matter how the river and town got their names, one thing is certain – it’s really cool.

Of course, even though there was the threat of a lawsuit, it never came to fruition. It’s was more likely that the mayor of this town was not really looking to cash in on the success of The Dark Knight, but rather saw it as a great opportunity to get some attention, and perhaps even some added tourism, into his town. Regardless of the reason, this odd lawsuit that never happened does make for an interesting topic of conversation.