In several days, Barack Obama will visit Ankara. In largely Muslim Turkey, America’s popular president is still a favorite. But how will Obama deal with a human rights issue he has long considered a matter of principle?

President Obama will undoubtedly be asked by journalists in Turkey of his views about a newly introduced Congress bill recognizing the WWI Armenian Genocide.

How will he react? How should he react?

Scenario A: Obama will avoid public questions about the genocide. Asked by reporters if he supports the congressional resolution, Obama will stay away from comment or say he doesn’t oppose it. This is what many Armenian-Americans hope for: if Obama stays out of the genocide resolution, it will pass. But by staying out from such a vibrant development, Obama will let Congress undermine his authority as foreign policy chief. He can’t afford Congress run the show.

Scenario B: Obama will acknowledge in his reaction the Armenian Genocide (like he did in 2005 in Baku when confronted by angry Azerbaijani journalists) and try to justify the move. Obama will have limited time and much pressure in his reaction. It won’t be a good articulation and he may regret the consequences. He can’t afford ruining a press conference in his first foreign policy trip.

Scenario C: Obama will say he doesn’t support the resolution, condemn the Armenian Genocide but use the most elegant linguistic exercise to avoid usage of “genocide” itself. If his does this, he will mimic George W. Bush. Obama can’t afford being George W. Bush.

Is there hope for genocide recognition without nationalist backlash in Turkey and without undermining the presidency in the US? Yes there is – but there may be one and only one option: Obama needs to be proactive.

Most scenarios on Obama’s handling of the Armenian Genocide issue are of reactive measure: how he will respond and what he will answer. Instead, Obama needs a proactive approach.

In his Turkey speech before the Q&A, Obama should talk about honor and genocide. He should say the following:

“I represent one of the best stories on earth, one of the best countries in history, and of the most proud places in the Universe. And the country I love more than anything else has its dark sides. You see, America was founded on the corpses of its native people who were subjected to genocide and destruction. Acknowledging this fact doesn’t make America a worse place. In fact, it is by recognizing history that Americans can claim greatness. It is my hope that the great people of Turkey will do the same – acknowledge and denounce the destruction of the Armenian community during WWI who, like Native Americans, saw genocide and destruction.”

Many Turks have justly noted that America should see its own problems before denouncing others’. If Obama recognizes the genocide of Native Americans in Turkey, he will maximize the chances of finding an audience ready to listen and accept. And after that speech, there won’t even be a need for a congressional resolution.