Turkish news reports say police are carrying out raids and detaining people suspected of involvement in violence against police during a wave of anti-government protests — just as a new form of silent protest takes root.

NTV television says the raids in Ankara and Istanbul are targeting left-wing groups, which authorities suspect were involved in violent clashes with police.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said at least 25 people were detained in Ankara and many others in Istanbul.

Earlier, police detained a dozen people who stood still at Istanbul's Taksim Square in a form of passive defiance against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Protesters have adopted the new form of resistance, following the lead of Erdem Gunduz, a Turkish man who on Monday stood for hours in the square.

The square has been sealed off from mass protests since police cleared it over the weekend, but have not stopped pedestrians from entering.

Gunduz stood facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

By after midnight, when the police moved in, about 300 people had joined him.  

Gunduz, swiftly dubbed "standing man" on social media in Turkey, inspired similar protests elsewhere in Istanbul as well as in the capital Ankara and the city of Izmir on the Aegean  coast.

A wave of anti-government protests swept through Turkey starting May 31 that have shaken the country's secular democracy.