Turkish riot police retook Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday morning, driving protesters out with armored cars just hours after the government said it was open to talks with demonstrators.

Hundreds of riot police occupied the square, which officers had not approached in two weeks, an Efe reporter confirmed at the scene.

Officers clashed with a small number of protesters who threw stones, Molotov cocktails and flares at them.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to drive the protesters out of the iconic square.

Hundreds of people were injured during the operation, with five demonstrators listed in serious condition at hospitals, the Turkish Medical Association said.

Dozens of people are being treated for head injuries sustained when they were hit by smoke grenades fired at close proximity, Turkish Medical Association president Ahmet Özdemir Aktan said.

The government, however, said few injuries occurred during the clearing of the square.

No one was seriously injured or had to be hospitalized as a result of the operation, Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said.

Officials have not released arrest figures, but the Hürriyet newspaper reported that 20 attorneys were detained at the Palace of Justice in Istanbul for staging a protest in support of the anti-government demonstrations that have rocked Turkey for 12 days. EFE