The protesters gathered on Sunday to show their support for the recent Gezi Park events just as the Mediterranean Games, held in a different part of Mersin, were concluding.
At least 17 people were wounded, including two journalists and a police chief, during the ensuing clashes. Eight people were taken into custody.
The demonstrators gathered in front of a shopping center near Barış Square. Riot police were out in force, stopping activists with tear gas and water cannons. A number of protesters set fire to trash cans and removed tables and chairs from inside the shopping center in an attempt to build barricades.
A Syrian protester wearing a helmet drew particular attention during the events.
Tens of thousands of people joined nationwide protests following a police crackdown on participants in a peaceful sit-in in İstanbul's Gezi Park near Taksim Square on May 27. The protesters were dissatisfied with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 10-year rule and his government's plans to build a replica of the Topçu Barracks in the park as part of the Taksim rejuvenation project. Five people, including a policeman, have died and more than 5,000 have been injured in the clashes, according to a Turkish rights group.
Police took strict security measures for the duration of the 10-day Mediterranean Games.