Yakup Yilmaz, a 57-year-old immigrant originally from Igdir in eastern Turkey, was sitting outside a bank on Berlin's Karl Marx Street on July 27 when he spotted a couple investigating an unclaimed bag resting near his bench.

As the couple opened the bag Yilmaz wondered what were they doing -- fearing the worst, he worried it could be a bomb.

"The woman opened the bag and then paper came out, and there was an ID card. When I saw the card, I decided [the bag] had an owner," Yilmaz told Anadolu Agency.

The Turkish man went over to the couple and asked them to hand it in to the police, but they were unable to understand him.

But as he checked the bag’s contents, he made an amazing discovery:

"There were a lot of documents when I checked the bag. Then I saw an envelope. The envelope was closed. I saw the money when it opened.

"I also saw a heavy thing wrapped in a paper bag. When I opened it, I saw gold.”

After he took it to the police, Yilmaz later learned the bag had contained 1,110 grams of gold -- worth just over $49,000 -- as well as €3,500 ($4,135) in cash plus eight silver coins.

For many, the temptation to keep the treasure would have been irresistible. Yilmaz, who immigrated to Germany in 1992, has been living on a disability pension for 10 years after an accident left him unable to work.

However, he insisted on returning his amazing find: "When I found this money, my heart did not slide, not even for a moment.

“It was not mine. I did not deserve it. I did not earn that money."

Yilmaz’s honesty has not gone unnoticed: "Turks and Germans who have seen me congratulate me. Some Turkish friends hug me, saying: 'You did us proud, you have broken the prejudices against us'."

Anadolu Agency