I had the same problem and solved it this way:
1. Charset should be defined this way:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
even for HTML5 pages.
2. In the connection string add the following lines:
mysql_query("SET CHARACTER SET UTF8", $ConnectionName);
mysql_query("SET NAMES UTF8", $ConnectionName);
3. If you entered your data via a ISO charset page, export the data into Excel (Windows) via XML-File and reimport it. Make sure you database is set to UTF-8 and import/export is set to UTF8 too
Hope this helps ...