The Ottoman Empire gave European countries consular jurisdiction over their nationals and permission to run schools and other institutions.
The Ottoman Empire had a complex legal system. Jurisdiction over issues concerning personal status varied according to religion (the different religious communities were granted wide autonomy). Moreover, treaties with European states (known as Capitulations) placed foreign citizens under consular jurisdiction. At the same time, Ottoman rulers generally placed limits over foreign property rights and activities. Such limitations progressively disappeared during the 19th century.
After European powers took political control of former provinces of the Ottoman Empire, European immigrants became favoured over the local population, in ways that varied from case to case. In Tunisia, under the French Protectorate (1881–1956), the government introduced laws that favoured French nationals not only over the indigenous population, but also over other Europeans.