Six problem Turkish characters in search of a solution


If you want English and Turkish to coexist on the same computer, installing Turkish language support after installing Windows in English won’t work. Under many conditions, the six characters "Ğ", "İ", "Ş", "ğ", "ı", and "ş" (G-breve, I-dot, S-cedilla, g-breve, dotless-i, s-cedilla) won’t appear correctly: what you’ll see instead will be the characters Eth, Y-acute, Thorn, eth, y-acute, and thorn. To get it right, you need to implement the following procedure if you're using WinMe. If you're using WinXP on the other hand, see here:

WinMe users:

1. Install WinMe with Turkish regional settings and Turkish keyboard. (If you've already installed WinMe with English settings, you must reinstall it over your existing setup but with the Turkish settings. Don't worry: all your installed programs, drivers, and other settings will, İnşallah, remain intact. However see the "Important note" below.)

2. After the installation process has completed, go to the Control Panel and change your Regional Settings to "US" or "UK" or whatever. Reboot.

3. Go to the Control Panel again and install the English-language keyboard that you want. Set whichever keyboard (English, Turkish, or something else) you want to be the default. Reboot.

If done in this way, the full set of Turkish characters will be available in all applications.


WinXP users:

1. Install WinXP initially with Turkish Regional and Language Options. When it's all over, reboot. Go to Control Panel | Regional and Language Options | Regional Options and pick your flavor of English in the drop-down menu. You can also customize most of the features here. In the "Location" drop-down menu, I've chosen "Turkey" but I don’t think this has any effect on how the letters appear on the screen. Back out normally clicking "OK/Apply" as usual. Then reboot.

2. Sometime or other you may notice that these six problem characters aren't appearing right in some programs or web pages. If that happens, do this: Control Panel | Regional and Language Options | Advanced and under "Select a language to match the language version of non-Unicode programs you want to use" pick "Turkish". There's also a checkbox here under "Default user account settings". If you check this, all the settings you've made will be applied to the "default user profile" as well as to the "current user account". If you have several users on your machine, you might want to consider whether to check this box or not. I did and didn't notice any difference in operation, but only one person (me) uses my machine. Back out normally and reboot.

3. If you want to add Turkish support after installing WinXP with English regional and language settings, you'll have to do a reinstallation following the procedure in step 1 just above. In this case you will almost certainly see the problem described in step 2 and should follow the procedure there to deal with it. If you reinstall WinXP, be sure to read the "Important note".


Important note: If you're doing a reinstallation, you'll have to redo any updates that you may have already done to Windows, Internet Explorer, and (probably) other programs. DON'T update anything until after you have completed all the steps and are sure that the characters appear correctly. If you don't take this advice, you’ll just have to redo the updates again…

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