Turkish police have used water cannons and tear gas to clear a gay pride rally from Istanbul's central square.

Between 100 and 200 marchers were chased away from Taksim Square on Sunday after a police vehicle fired several jets of water to disperse the crowd.

It wasn't immediately clear why the police intervened to push the peaceful if noisy rally away from the area.

The crowd regrouped a few blocks down the street and continued to dance and chant slogans against homophobia without any further clashes.

The rally grew to several thousand people as the day wore on.