Turkish police clashed with thousands of angry protesters following the death of Berkin Elvan, a teenager who had been in a coma since being hit by a police tear-gas canister during anti-government protests last year.

The unrest swelled within hours of news that Berkin, 15, had died in an Istanbul hospital nine months after losing consciousness with a fractured skull.

Berkin sustained his injuries when riot police fired tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse anti-government protesters, who hurled stones and bottles in Istanbul and Ankara.

The teenager was on his way to buy bread during the protests when he was struck in the head by a high-velocity gas canister. Several police officers were questioned about Berkin's head injury but none has been charged.

Riot police officers shield themselves as fireworks thrown by protesters explode next to a statue of a bull in Istanbul. Protesters clashed with police in cities across Turkey after the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister during anti-government demonstrations last summer
Riot police officers shield themselves as fireworks thrown by protesters explode next to a statue of a bull in Istanbul. Protesters clashed with police in cities across Turkey after the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister during anti-government demonstrations last summerReuters
Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Istanbul
Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in IstanbulReuters
Riot police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators in the Kadikoy district of Istanbul
Riot police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators in the Kadikoy district of IstanbulReuters
Demonstrators try to shield themselves from the blast of a water cannon near the Middle East Technical University (ODTU) in Ankara
Demonstrators try to shield themselves from the blast of a water cannon near the Middle East Technical University (ODTU) in AnkaraReuters
Riot police chase anti-government protesters near the Middle East Technical University in Ankara
Riot police chase anti-government protesters near the Middle East Technical University in AnkaraReuters
Berkin Elvan's sister Ozge reacts as his coffin approaches the Okmeydani cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul
Berkin Elvan's sister Ozge reacts as his coffin approaches the Okmeydani cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, in IstanbulReuters
Berkin Elvan's mother Gulsum Elvan is supported by other women in Istanbul
Berkin Elvan's mother Gulsum Elvan is supported by other women in IstanbulReuters
Berkin Elvan's coffin arrives at the Okmeydani cemevi, a place of worship
Berkin Elvan's coffin arrives at the Okmeydani cemevi, a place of worshipReuters
A woman mourns next to posters reading
A woman mourns next to posters reading "Berkin is immortal" near Okmeydani Cemevi in IstanbulReuters
This picture of a Turkish police officer spraying tear gas at a woman in a red dress in Istanbul's Taksim Square in May 2013 spread quickly across social media and became a symbol of the protests
This picture of a Turkish police officer spraying tear gas at a woman in a red dress in Istanbul's Taksim Square in May 2013 spread quickly across social media and became a symbol of the protestsReuters
A protester is pictured taunting police amid tear gas, lasers and a water cannon at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 15 June 2013
A protester is pictured taunting police amid tear gas, lasers and a water cannon at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 15 June 2013Reuters
Riot police enter Gezi Park at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 15 June 2013
Riot police enter Gezi Park at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 15 June 2013Reuters
Riot police are pictured using tear gas to disperse the crowd during an anti-government protest in Istanbul on 3 June 2013
Riot police are pictured using tear gas to disperse the crowd during an anti-government protest in Istanbul on 3 June 2013Reuters
A protester uses a catapult to fire stones at riot police during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 11 June 2013
A protester uses a catapult to fire stones at riot police during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 11 June 2013Reuters
A protester wipes his eyes as he passes a burning vehicle during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 11 June 2013
A protester wipes his eyes as he passes a burning vehicle during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 11 June 2013Reuters