Friday, June 18, 1999 Published at 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK
World: Middle East
Military judge barred from Ocalan trial
The Ocalan trial has put Turkey's system under the spotlight
By Chris Morris in Ankara
The Turkish parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of amending the constitution in order to remove military judges from the country's state security court system.
State security courts in Turkey will now have three civilian judges, bringing them further into line with European legal standards which Turkey, as a member of the Council of Europe, has promised to uphold.
The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly condemned the state security court system, and called for the removal of the military judge.
Ocalan on trial
The trial of Abdullah Ocalan resumes next Wednesday on the prison island of Imrali and could be over by the end of the week. A substitute civilian judge has been following the trial since it began, and he is now expected to step in.
Critics have complained repeatedly about the conditions under which Mr Ocalan is being held, particularly the fact that he has only been allowed to speak with his lawyers in the presence of soldiers wearing black ski masks.
The rebel leader is accused of treason and is expected to be sentenced to death.