Fewer than 1,000 companies involved in financing Turkish cleric Gulen: deputy PM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Fewer than 1,000 companies are believed to be involved in financing the network of the U.S.-based cleric Turkey accuses of orchestrating a failed coup last month, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Friday.

“I understand that some people, especially companies, are worried. But we believe that at the core there are fewer than 1,000 companies financing terror,” Simsek said in a speech in Istanbul, referring to Gulen’s network of supporters.

His comments were broadcast live on Bloomberg HT television. Ankara blames Gulen’s network of supporters for the abortive putsch. The cleric, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has denied the charge and condemned the coup.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by David Dolan; editing by Ralph Boulton