Today is Istanbul Independence Day. This holiday celebrates the liberation of Istanbul during the War of Independence. Following the loss of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the Allied powers (led by France, Russia and the United Kingdom) controlled the land which once fell under the Ottoman Empire. French, British and Italian troops occupied Istanbul. Today’s holiday celebrates the victory of armed Turkish forces in Istanbul, an essential and significant step on the road for independence, leading to the foundation of Modern Turkey. While many people in Istanbul are forced to go to work and treat this day as any other, the students, staff and teachers of the public and private schools in Istanbul receive the day off. I will spend my day with friends of mine from work, sipping coffee over a long and indulgent Turkish breakfast.