Turkish police have stormed into Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing water cannon and rubber bullets into the air, leading to new clashes with anti-government protesters.

Police used water cannon and fired tear gas and rubber bullets, the BBC reported, while protesters responded by hurling rocks, knives and fire bombs.

Many of the protesters, who had been occupying Taksim Square for nearly two weeks, were forced into Gezi Park, the open space that triggered the unrest, where other people had been camping.

turkey

Police used tear gas and water cannon to repel the protesters

The move sparked a backlash from protesters, with some throwing petrol bombs and stones at the police water cannon.

According to the Daily Telegraph, police, speaking through loudspeakers, asked the group to stop attacking officers and saying they did not want to use tear gas, before then firing the tear gas.

Earlier on Tuesday, the officers gathered around Taksim Square, taking down banners and dismantling barricades.

Protests initially sparked by development plans for Gezi Park have since widened into anti-government unrest, which has even united Istanbul's bitterly-divided football fans.

The anti-government unrest was sparked by a police crackdown on a local protest over an Istanbul park.

Meanwhile, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to meet protest organisers on Wednesday, to "listen to their thoughts", according to his deputy.

Bulent Arinc said protesters would be "briefed on the facts" when they met.

The Turkish prime minister has taken a tough line with demonstrators, previously calling them "looters".

"They burn and destroy.. They destroy the shops of civilians. They destroy the cars of civilians," Erdogan told thousands of supporters in the city of Adana on Sunday, after climbing atop a bus to give a speech.

"They are low enough to insult the prime minister of this country," the Guardian quoted him as saying.

So far more than 5,000 people have been injured and three people have died since the protests began.

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  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A demonstrator's clothes are set on fire during clashes with riot police in Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square on june 11, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. AFP PHOTO / OREN ZIV (Photo credit should read OREN ZIV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester falls as a riot police van is engulfed in flames in the background during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Protesters set off fireworks as they clash with riot police in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Hundreds of police officers backed by armoured cars moved in on Taksim Square -- the epicentre of nearly two weeks of deadly anti-government demos -- in the early morning, saying they wanted to remove makeshift barricades erected by protesters and clear the area of flags and banners. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A demonstrator winds up to throw a molotov cocktail in Taksim square in Istanbul, early on June 11, 2013 as demonstrators and riot police clashed. Riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Hundreds of police officers backed by armoured cars moved in on Taksim Square -- the epicentre of nearly two weeks of deadly anti-government demos -- in the early morning, saying they wanted to remove makeshift barricades erected by protesters and clear the area of flags and banners. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A protester runs to avoid tear gas as police take cover next to a water cannon during clashes at the Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A protester walks in front of a burning barricade during clashes in Taksim square in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • A protester gestures to riot policemen as he walks in front of a burning barricade during clashes in Taksim square in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Protesters carry another protester affected by tear gas during clashes in Taksim square in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with riot police in istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester, wearing a gas mask, pulls back the cord on a slingshot in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square on June 11, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail in Taksim square in Istanbul, early on June 11, 2013 as demonstrators and riot police clashed. Riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Hundreds of police officers backed by armoured cars moved in on Taksim Square -- the epicentre of nearly two weeks of deadly anti-government demos -- in the early morning, saying they wanted to remove makeshift barricades erected by protesters and clear the area of flags and banners. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    ALTERNATIVE CROP A protester wearing a gas mask holds a box of fireworks during clashes against riot police in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square on June 11, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A demonstrator wearing a gas mask holds a box of fireworks during clashes with police in Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Hundreds of police officers backed by armoured cars moved in on Taksim Square -- the epicentre of nearly two weeks of deadly anti-government demos -- in the early morning, saying they wanted to remove makeshift barricades erected by protesters and clear the area of flags and banners. AFP Photo / Angelos Tzortzinis (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A demonstrator throws a stone during clashes with riot police in Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square on June 11, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Hundreds of police officers backed by armoured cars moved in on Taksim Square -- the epicentre of nearly two weeks of deadly anti-government demos -- in the early morning, saying they wanted to remove makeshift barricades erected by protesters and clear the area of flags and banners. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester whose clothes are on fire runs away from riot police during clashes in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester shields himself from water cannons during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Protesters shield themselves from water cannons during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester throws a Molotov cocktail durign clashes with riot police in istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Protesters shield themselves from water cannons during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester flashes the v-sign during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester throws a molotov cocktail at a riot police van during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester runs as a water cannon stream gushes in the background during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Riot police are pictured in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013 during thier storming of the square. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-DEMO

    Turkish protestors and riot policemen clash on June 1, 2013, during a protest against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, in Taksim Square in Istanbul. Police reportedly used tear gas to disperse a group, who were standing guard in Gezi Parki to prevent the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality from demolishing the last remaining green public space in the centre of Istanbul as a part of a major Taksim renewal project. At least a dozen people were injured. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Protesters are hit with a stream from a water cannon during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    A protester uses a shield to protect himself from the jet of a water cannon as others take cover behind him during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Turkish riot police fire tear gas at demonstrators during clashes in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 11 said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TURKEY-POLITICS-UNREST

    Demonstrators wearing gas masks take cover behond a barricade during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013. Riot police stormed Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders. Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government. AFP Photo / Angelos Tzortzinis (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A protester throws a stone at police during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A man runs through teargas as police operates during clashes with protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A protester, left, is seen through teargas during a police operation to evacuate Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Police operates amid teargas during clashes with protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters try to cover behind a barricade as police fires teargas during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A protester tries to put a wood with nails under a wheel of a police water cannon during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A protester throws a stone at police during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Journalists surround a protester who stops a police water cannon holding a Turkish national flag during clashes with police at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters try to stop a police water cannon during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A policeman runs through teargas during clashes with protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Black smoke rises from Taksim Square during clashes between protesters and police, in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A protester puts a wood with nails under the wheel of a police water cannon during clashes at the Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Police take cover behind shields during an operation at the Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Police remove a banner hanged by protesters in a cultural center as the Turkish flag is reflected on the windows during a police operation at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Police fires tear gas during an operation to evacuate the Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • A police water cannon truck is on fire after protesters threw a petrol bomb during a police operation at the Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Riot policemen take cover behind their shields amid tear gas smoke during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Police hang a banner of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkey, next to a Turkish flag hung by protesters in a cultural center during a police operation to evacuate Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Police officer fires rubber bullets during an operation to evacuate Taksim Square in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Riot policemen take cover as a petrol bomb explodes in front of them during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Protesters watch riot policemen entering Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • A protester gestures in front of riot policemen during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced through barricades in Istanbul's central Taksim Square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)