Experiencing Arab invasion around 700 AD, Batman was later dominated by Seljuks first and then by the Mongolians. It was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1514 after being under the influence of the Akkoyunlu and the Safevid throughout the 15th century.
In the early years of the Republic, Batman was attached to the province of Siirt and known as "Iluh". It first became a district in 1957, changing its name to Batman, and then a province centre in 1990. Oil extraction and processing characterise the industry of the province. It has a provincial territory of 4,649 square kilometres and a population of 400,380 according to the 1997 Census. Its administrative districts are Beşiri, Gercüş, Hasankeyf, Kozluk and Sason.
Batman enjoyed a rapid development thanks to its oil reserves. The modern refinery was established in 1955 to process oil extracted from Raman and Garzan areas. The most important development which took place later was the completion of the 494 kilometres long pipeline between Batman and Iskenderun.
The railway which connects the town of Kurtalan near Batman to Istanbul was important in terms of transportation for a time. However, highways gained weight after 1950.
Upon the completion of GAP, services and commercial sectors will get stronger to accompany crude oil refinery. There will also be export oriented copper mining.
Hasankeyf was the capital of the Artuklu in the period 1102-1232. It is well known for its structure and remains belonging to various Islamic reigns. Remains on both banks of the Tigris will be submerged upon the completion of Ilusu Dam. Salvation works were started in 1988. Though the original founders of the settlement are not known, scholars state that nearby caves were inhabited since prehistoric times. The settlement is cited as Hesna Kepha in Syrian sources while it is known as Hisn Kayfa in Arabic which means "rock fortress".
Hasankeyf enjoyed a rapid development in the past since it was located at the junction of two historically important routes, the "silk way" and "kings' way", and near an important waterway as the Tigris. Its fortress, built by the Artuklu in the 12th century, is placed on a massive rock 100 metres high from the Tigris. The Grand Mosque, built in the 14th century is at the top of this hill. The bridge on the Tigris could survive to our times with its three pillars. This impressive bridge is known to be 100 metres long. It used to have, on its arches, human reliefs holding unidentified objects in their hands as once seen in other bridges in the area such as Malabadi and Cizre. Other important structures in the town include Imam Abdullah Lodge, Zeynel Bey's tomb, Rızk Mosque, Koç Mosque and Eyyübi Tomb.