Demonstrations in Turkey have largely subsided in recent days, but thousands converged back on the square on Saturday, angry over a court decision this week that released a police officer from custody pending his trial for the killing of a protester in Ankara.
The protesters also denounced the killing of a Kurdish demonstrator by paramilitary police in the Kurdish town of Diyarkabir on Friday. Police had opened fire killing 18-year-old Medeni Yildirim and wounding ten others during a demonstration against the construction of a new gendarmerie outpost in the village of Kayacik.
The demonstrators were joined by public sector workers and the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
Police allowed protesters to chant slogans for some two hours before issuing a warning for them to disperse. They then moved in, pushing the crowd away from the square.
Protestors then broke out into the main routes in Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi and Siraselviler. There were frequent skirmishes and police used rubber bullets and pepper spray on the crowds.
In the capital, Ankara, police fired tear gas and pressurized water to break up a similar protest by a group of about 200 people.