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Batman, Turkey

Batman, Turkey

Coordinates: 37 55 N 41 5 E

Population: 246,700 (2005 est.)

I suppose in a world that seems obsessed with publicity and brand identity, it was bound to happen eventually. Apparently, in one of the stranger bits of news I’ve come across in the past few weeks, numerous sources reported that the mayor of Batman is actively considering filing suit against both Warner Brothers and director Christopher Nolan for using the name of the Turkish city without his consent. Central to the mayor’s argument is the fact that this city in the predominantly Kurdish part of southeastern Turkey was founded well before the creation of the crime-fighting Caped Crusader in 1939. Now, I have my doubts that this will amount to anything for the capital of Batman Province and the site of the country’s first oil refinery, but it has already led to plenty of jokes about other places that share names with movies and/or comic book characters. Maybe it’s just me, but I like to think that a little good-natured humor can help us learn geography too.

Ben Keene is the editor of Oxford Atlas of the World. Check out some of his previous places of the week.

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