Ankara: At least 14 people have been killed in clashes between police and Kurdish protesters in Turkey, according to media reports.

The protesters are aggrieved at Turkish inaction in defending the town of Kobane in Syria from an attack of the Islamic State (IS) militants.

Riot police lobbed tear gas and used water cannon in a number of towns and cities as the disturbances spread across the country, including capital city of Ankara and Istanbul, the largest city of the country, BBC reported.

Eight of the deaths occurred in the main Turkish-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, where the rioting saw shops and buses set on fire as well as clashes between Kurdish activists and supporters of Islamist groups sympathetic to IS.

Two people were reported to have died in Mardin, two in Siirt, one in Batman and another in Mus.

Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in several cities in south-eastern Turkey with large Kurdish populations. Also, curfew has been clamped in some provinces for the first time in over two decades, and Turkish troops have been deployed.

The sudden wave of unrest has taken Turkey by surprise, with protests spreading to almost 30 cities.