But North Carolina native Andrew Brunson isn't the only American detained in the country.
The wife of NASA scientist Serkan Golge says she feels like the U.S. government "is paying less attention" to his case.
“When I read the newspapers, I feel frustrated sometimes like they’re only trying to save Brunson but not us,” said his wife, Kubra Golge, who like her husband is a dual U.S.-Turkish citizen.
In February, Serkan Golge was convicted of terrorism charges that the U.S. says are “without credible evidence.” He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison. Turkey's foreign ministry has said Serkan Golge "was tried by an independent Turkish court and sentenced after a fair trial.”
Serkan and Kubra Golge were visiting Turkey with their two sons in July 2016 when the scientist was detained by police amid accusations he was involved in a failed coup.
Some 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 110,000 others have been dismissed from government jobs since the coup, according to the Associated Press.
Serkan Golge has been behind bars ever since and his wife said she has been banned from leaving the country with their sons, aged 2 and 7.
Get breaking news and insider analysis on the rapidly changing world of media and technology right to your inbox.
The family had to sell their house in Houston, Texas.
She said the prosecutors alleged Serkan Golge was a supporter of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup.
Gulen, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, denies the charge. Washington’s refusal to extradite him is a key obstacle in relations with Turkey.
“I feel frustrated, [Brunson’s] not the only guy whose life went down,” Kubra Golge said. “We are also citizens.”
Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump both mentioned Brunson on Twitter last week, calling him “a great Christian” and an “innocent man of faith.”
As I said earlier this week - and @POTUS has made clear - transferring Pastor Andrew Brunson to home arrest, it’s just not good enough. And the United States of America is prepared to bring sanctions against Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free. pic.twitter.com/nEHmcPQkpk
The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!
If Turkey does not take immediate action to free Pastor Andrew Brunson and send him home to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until this innocent man of faith is free. pic.twitter.com/GM9WohpMRm
Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason. They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!
“[Trump] was saying he’s a good Christian, his family needs him, he’s a good husband. Are we bad people, you know? Don’t my family need me? Didn’t I serve America?” Kul said. “Should I change my religion?”
A State Department official told NBC News that it continues to urge Turkish officials to resolve cases of U.S. citizens and local employees of the U.S. government who are detained on “scant evidence.”
Howard Eissenstat, a professor of Middle East history with a focus on Turkey at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, said evangelicals in the U.S. have been good at mobilizing to support Brunson’s case.
“I think that it is very clear that it’s Pastor Brunson’s case that has sort of grabbed the attention of Washington,” he said.
Turkish officials have repeatedly said that the country’s judiciary is independent. The Turkish foreign ministry did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
“The administration is continuing to work for the speedy return of all Americans unjustly held abroad, including Pastor Brunson,” a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson said in an email. “President Trump will never forget one of our own.”