A Mobile's Missing Dot Kills Two People, Puts Three More in Jail

The life of 20-year-old Emine, and her 24-year-old husband Ramazan Çalçoban was pretty much the normal life of any couple in a separation process. After deciding to split up, the two kept having bitter arguments over the mobile phone, sending text messages to each other until one day Ramazan wrote "you change the topic every time you run out of arguments." That day, the lack of a single dot over a letter—product of a faulty localisation of the phone's typing system—caused a chain of events that ended in a violent blood bath (Warning: offensive language ahead.)

5420730.jpgThe surreal mistake happened because the ex-husband's mobile phone didn't have an specific character from the Turkish alphabet: the letter "ı" or closed i. While "i" is available in all phones in Turkey—where this happened—the closed i apparently doesn't exist in most of the terminals in that country.

The use of "i" resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word "sıkısınca" he wrote "sikisince." Ramazan wanted to write "You change the topic every time you run out of arguments" (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, "You change the topic every time they are fucking you" (sounds familiar too.)

5420731.jpgEmine then showed the message to her father, who—enraged—called Ramazan, accusing him of treating his daughter as a prostitute. Ramazan went to the family's home to apologise and was greeted by the father, two sisters and a lot of very sharp knives.

Injured and bleeding, Ramazan found Emine and killed her with another knife. He later killed himself in jail.

Apparently it's not the first incident of this kind caused by the damned dot on top of the letter i. The local press has pointed out that the faulty localisation of mobile phones in Turkey is causing "serious problems" when it comes to certain "delicate words" in Turkish, and they are calling to enhance localisation of technology to avoid these mistakes.

Alternatively, the press could ask for banning knives from the homes of demonstrably stupid people. [Hurriyet—in Turkish]