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.