The Ottoman Empire laws were an amalgamation of influences of the political rules and traditions of various communities such as Persians, Mongols, Turks, Mesopotamian and, quite obviously Islam. One thing in common with the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish, Mesopotamian and Mongol states was the fact that absolute power was vested in the monarch.
The Legal Structure
The Ottoman Empire laws had basically three different levels. The religious matters were under the auspices of the diverse religious groups in the land - Jewish, Muslim, Christian etc. the next level was the ethnic or the millet level. Lastly, there were the Ottoman Courts which basically dealt with matters of land rights and disputes - they used a variety of laws for this, the Mongol Tore, Turkish Yasa and even the pre Islamic laws for this.
However, if any decision was made by the Sultan, it was well and truly considered sacred. The Sultan was called upon to exercise his judgment in matters which fell outside the traditional Shariyah law.
These situations had to be resolved according to situations from the Holy Koran. The Sultan was to ensure that even the weakest member of his society was administered justice. The Ottoman Empire laws or system of justice was called "Suleyman", so called after "Solomon of the Hebrews". Suleiman ruled from 1520 to 1566.
As is quite evident, the law of the land was primarily religious. The Empire was pretty much organized under a system of what is known as local jurisprudence. The legal administration of the Ottoman Empire was a part of a great balancing act in the larger picture of things - a balancing act between the local and the central authority.
The best part about the Ottoman Empire laws is that it permitted the integrity of culturally and religiously diverse groups. There were, in fact, three separate courts in the Ottoman Empire. One was for Muslims, another for non-Muslims, presided over by appointed Jews and Christians and another was the "trade court".
However these courts weren't very exclusive. For example, the Muslim Court which was the primary court of the Sultan was often home to the settlement of trade conflicts or disputes between followers of different religions and often, Jews and Christians visited these courts to gain more forceful support for their causes. What is even more commendable is that the Ottoman State, despite having the right to do so, seldom interfered with Non-Muslim laws. The Ottoman Empire laws were pretty secular on the surface, but the final word belonged to the Sultan.