Good samaritan returns $26,000 found while cleaning a toilet in Istanbul airport

Published November 7th, 2015 - 05:30 GMT

A janitor who discovered 24,500 euros ($26,000) in the toilets of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport has been praised for his “good character and inner conscience.”

Emrah Evrensel, who earns minimum wage — currently 1,000 Turkish liras a month (approx. $350) — for cleaning the airport’s VIP area, found a bag full of cash on Friday, which he then turned over to the authorities. 

Evrensel admitted that he was startled by his discovery: "I could have kept the money for myself. People think of every option. I did so; but I chose the good one," he said.

Praising the janitor for his honesty, TAV Istanbul General Manager Kemal Unlu, said: "What he did is the result of a good character and inner conscience."

The money’s owner later returned to the airport soon after and retrieved the cash after officially being identified.

Airport manager Mehmet Ali Ulutas said: "He [Evrensel] could have kept the money to buy himself a modest house. However, he brought it to the officials and set a good example." 

Evrensel was awarded a prize and a certificate of appreciation. 

Meanwhile, a currency exchange office in southern Turkey is still hunting for a customer who unwittingly pocketed almost 10,000 Turkish liras (approx. $3,000) in a mistaken transaction.

A male customer, aged between 55-60, came into the office in Seyhan district on Tuesday to change $10,500 and was mistakenly paid 39,295 Turkish liras instead of 29,365.

"The customer may not have realized that he was paid more," the owner of the office, Ercan Guven, said at the time, adding: "I hope he behaves with his inner conscience and brings the money back."

So far, however, the money has not been returned.

By Ayşe Hümeyra Atılgan


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