The Ottoman Empire under Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) continued to rule the island of Crete to the benefit of its 10 percent minority Muslim population. The sultan pretended to promote reforms by alternately installing a Christian governor and then subjugating the Cretan Christians by installing an abusive Muslim. Cretans complained internationally and pushed for Greek intervention. In 1896, the Christians finally rose up, massacring Muslims and touching off a brief civil war. Greece sent troops to offset Turkish forces already on Crete. The great powers intervened, but with differing policies. Germany and Russia wanted to blockade Greece but retained Turkish troops; Britain pushed for Cretan autonomy, withdrawal of all Greek forces, and retention of some of the Porte's (Ottoman government) forces. Hostilities accelerated to cause the Greco-Turkish war of 1897. The Cretan struggle continued; Germany and Austria withdrew occupation forces; Britain and then France worked for Cretan autonomy. After Muslims caused the death of the British vice consul, Britain changed some of its policies, forced the withdrawal of all Turkish forces from Crete, and helped make Prince George (1863-1913) of Greece Crete's high commissioner. this enabled the island to be free for the first time since its conquest by Rome almost two millennia earlier.